Uruguay’s Senate has approved new legislation that will end the fixed broadband monopoly held by state-owned telco Antel.
The amendment to Article 56 of the Law on Audiovisual Communication Services permits cable TV providers to offer broadband services via fixed telecoms networks. The law has long prohibited TV companies from providing phone, internet or transmission services in order to prevent cross-ownership.
Uruguay’s Congress is still discussing other proposals made in the new legislation, but BNamericas reports that President Luis Lacalle-Pou is expected to sign off on all the suggested changes. If this comes to pass, cable operators will be able to apply for a fixed broadband licence from January 2023 – although they will not be able to offer satellite TV services.
CommsUpdate reports that in June this year, Uruguay’s URSEC (Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones / Regulatory Unit of Communications Services) permitted five cable companies to provide broadband internet after they issued a legal challenge arguing that Article 56 was unconstitutional. The motion received the backing of the Supreme Court as far back as 2016, but a lack of political appetite for revoking the article meant that it remained in effect.