New law to enforce lower Internet rates in Ecuador in 2020

According to Andrés Michelena, Minister of Telecommunications, the goal reform of the Telecommunications Law that President Lenin Moreno sent to the National Assembly last week,” is to grow access to 4G technology in the next six months from 50% to 80%.”

To do this, Michelena said in an interview last Tuesday with Teleamazonas, “structural reforms” have been sent in telecommunications. In addition, Michelena said that the Government is working on projects to reduce telephony rates in Ecuador.

“Next month (November) the president will announce the reduction of the rates of internet at home from $20 a month to $15 and month, and next year, in January 2020, we will have the reduction to $9 a month, that is to say we are lowering 50% of the cost of fees.”

These savings will come as part of implementing changes in the structural issue of the service. “For example, we believe that the telephone companies should share the infrastructure.  This means that you go to a city and see three antennas, of the three operators (that provide the service in Ecuador), but there should only be one antenna and that that is shared by the three operators. The other antennas go to towns, parishes or cities that have no connectivity, with that we are growing from 50% of 4G access to 80%, just with that decision. ”

Michelana also referred to the decree signed by President Moreno on September 16th of this year. With this document he granted the Electric Corporation of Ecuador (Celec) the ability to be an Internet distributor. “We have 5,800 kilometers of high-quality fiber optics from Celec. We can run telephone service through this Internet wiring, this reduces the costs for telephone operations of 12% plus 40% savings on antenna tracing. We are talking about more than 50% savings only in the cost of operations. Now we can ask the telephone companies to lower the rates of Ecuadorians to 50%.”

Celec wiring can already be used for telecommunications according to Michelena. “This is already enabled; the president signed a decree that gives Celec the ability to be an Internet carrier.”

On Friday (October 25), Arcotel handed the qualifying titles to Celec. Now “we are going to make an international purchase of an Internet package, as a country, and so we go down 50 cents per megawait per second, we use Celec wiring and we are going to launch wireless Internet so that in the rural sector, the Internet costs $9.50. We will be able to do this starting in November of next year,” Michelana said.

He also noted that “the President made an important decision when he reduced taxes for the importation of smartphones, computers and tablets to 0%, that is part of the technology we are developing,” he said. “We must take into account that only 5 out of 10 Ecuadorians have access to 4G technology. That’s 4 out of 10 Ecuadorians have a smartphone, 4 out of 10 have Internet in their home and 1 in 10 have laptops in their homes. The only way to move the country forward is through technology, for every 10% of bandwidth growth we can grow 0.5% of GDP,” added the Minister.

Extracted from Diario El COMERCIO