Nearshore Americas
Uruguay Kills Antel's Monopoly On Fixed Broadband

Uruguay Kills Antel’s Monopoly On Fixed Broadband

The government of Uruguay tweaked its media regulations, ending a decades-long monopoly held by Antel over the wireline broadband services segment.

Under the amended law, cable TV providers can offer Internet services. More than 1 million Uruguayan households have access to fixed broadband services, with nearly 99% of the market being covered by Antel.

The state-run carrier does not hold a similar monopoly in the wireless segment, though, where it faces fierce competition from Claro and Movistar.

The amendment comes eight years after the country’s top court ruled in favor of cable TV operator Monte Cablevideo S.A., declaring the unconstitutionality of a law that barred cable TV companies from offering Internet services.

However, the amendment has yet to be signed into law by President Luis Lacalle-Pou, and cable providers might have to wait until January 2023 to officially enter the Internet market.

Cable operators won’t be able to provide Internet services out of the gate. The law will force them to seek a seperate license for the service of fixed broadband.

AT&T subsidiary DirecTV, which controls 30% the pay TV market in Uruguay, tried to enter the Internet services game. Nevertheless, it has yet to convince federal regulators.

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The cable-TV vendors benefitting from the amendment include Montecable, Nuevo Siglo, TCC, Korfield and Praimar.

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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