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Latin American Countries Make Progress

By | December 8, 2003

      Recent gains in promoting access to broadband services in Latin America have resulted from intensive private and public sector efforts to improve satellite regulations throughout the region.

      Collaboration among officials from industry and national administrations has begun to have a major impact through streamlined licensing, lower fees, and greater market access. According to Montserrat Sans, Hughes Network Systems director of regulatory and international affairs, the following countries have achieved notable regulatory gains:

      Argentina – authorized more than 30 foreign satellites in less than three years and adopted regulations that favor Internet access;

      Belize — eased regulations to permit Ku-band satellite services using foreign hubs;

      Bolivia — finalized a new Telecommunications Act in October that will allow full competition and “radio-electric spectrum freedom”;

      Brazil – authorized nearly 40 foreign satellites, implemented blanket licensing and adopted a multimedia license that addresses most new applications. In addition, the number of broadband users in Brazil rose from 53,000 in 1999 to 941,500 in July 2003;

      Chile – implemented on-line earth station licensing;

      Ecuador – adopted blanket licensing for bi-directional Ku-band systems and not requiring an in-country hub;

      El Salvador – permitted mass deployment of satellite earth stations for Internet services;

      Haiti – allowed Ku-band services using a foreign hub;

      Honduras – enacted blanket licensing for C- and Ku-band earth stations used in conjunction with foreign hubs;

      Jamaica – considering earth station licensing reforms through its Spectrum Management Authority;

      Mexico — granted landing rights to nearly 30 foreign satellites and implemented blanket-licensing for Ku-band earth stations;

      Panama — authorized several networks that rely upon foreign hubs and reviewing potential licensing reforms;

      Peru – ended requirements for individual VSAT earth station licenses;

      Uruguay – restructured its licensing fees so that they are based on bandwidth usage not individual terminals;

      Venezuela — prepared a new regulatory framework to promote deployment and implementation of satellite systems and services.

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