Nearshore Americas
broadband internet El Salvador

El Salvador Sweetens Concession Deals to Attract Satellite Broadband Providers

El Salvador has announced a slew of benefits for telecom operators willing to provide satellite broadband services in rural parts of the country.

A new law, passed by Congress earlier this week, frees satellite Internet providers from paying the base concessions price as well as an annual fee for the radio spectrum they obtain from government.

However, the benefits will only apply to telecos that service the general population. Those in the B2B space are not eligible.

The announcement comes as the White House pushes American companies to create job opportunities in Central America, whose residents make up the bulk of immigrants trying to cross into the United States.

Among the firms the US is persuading to invest is Starlink, a subsidiary of SpaceX, which is already offering satellite broadband services in many Latin American countries.

Hughes Network and OneWeb, a satellite broadband provider owned by Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel, reportedly plan to hold talks with the Salvadoran government to launch the service.

For now, no company is offering satellite Internet services in Salvadoran rural areas, according to Siget, the country’s telecom regulator.

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El Salvador had barely 10,000 fibre connections at the end of March this year. There are less than 700,000 fixed broadband connections in the country, with most of them relying on legacy copper wire technology (DSL).

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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