Settled last December, the rules that regulate Internet access tests made by
Brazilian cable TV operators are being put into practice.
Nacional de Telecomunicações (Anatel), a
government agency that regulates telecommunications in Brazil, authorized
the first cable modem tests on a grand scale to five cable TV operators:
NetSul Comunicações, in Porto Alegre; Net Sorocaba, in Sorocaba; TV Vmdeo
Uberlândia, in Uberlândia; TV Vmdeo Cabo de Minas Gerais, in Araguari; and
Videomar Rede Nordeste, in Fortaleza.
According to Anatel, the final regulations for cable modem services over cable TV will be made public in August. From then on, all cable TV operators interested in providing Internet access will be able to start operating this service without Anatel’s explicit permission. All the companies will have to do is follow the rules created by the Brazilian agency.
Following TV operators’ requests, the agency opened a public inquiry last October. The main companies and associations related to this industry stated their positions officially. The Associação Brasileira dos Provedores de Internet (Abranet), an association of Brazilian ISPs, suggested that all ISPs should also be able to make their
services available through cable modems, not only TV operators.
Abranet stated their position to avoid the possibility of cartel formation by ISPs owned by telecommunication groups, particularly those excluded from free competition, small-size ISPs or providers not associated to TV companies.
“The tests will be conducted in a democratic way. ISPs will be in a favorable position as they offer better quality services; as will also be TV operators, as they aggregate another type of service to their product; and the final user will have the advantage of using cheaper and faster services,” says Antônio Tavares, president director at Abranet.