The Uruguayan Government has recently announced that changes in the Media Law available in the country (Law N° 19,307; 2014) will be implemented. The most relevant ones are focused on the possibility that pay TV operators can offer services using private networks, and not only those provided by the Uruguayan telco Antel, as currently established by the Law. The government will aim to approve the modifications before the end of the year.
As reported by the Uruguayan newspaper ‘El País’ on its website, the intention is to make changes in Article N° 48 of the Law, which enabled cable operators in the country to use only Antel’s infrastructure to provide broadband services and access to the Internet. Now, according to the new wording, pay TV operators will also be able to use the infrastructure of private companies, such as Movistar (Telefonica) and Claro (America Movil). The changes were announced by Gabriel Gurmendez, Antel’s President.
‘A relevant modification that is introduced is that a sort of generality is established referring to the fact that those who will eventually provide wholesale services to cable operators are telecommunications operators, not only public ones, but also private ones’, Gurmendez expressed.
Other changes that are also being negotiated within the Government for the Media Law focus on modifying the license limit for the number of radio and TV frequency holders. At present, the maximum number is three, and the Government initiative aims to bring the licenses to a maximum of eight. In addition, there are also plans to implement restrictions on local media acquisitions by foreign companies.