ICE (the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity) denounced the situation before the recently created Telecommunications Superintendent (SUTEL), arguing that Intertel Worldwide has not yet been authorized to operate. The new business responded that it is operating in the same manner in which cyber cafés that offer international calls via the Internet do.
Esteban Oviedo, in an article published in Nacion.com, says, "For now, Intertel focuses its services in three main areas: the United States, Nicaragua and Colombia. Federico Guard Tinoco, President of the firm, explained that the service is offered by means of the Internet instead of through the traditional networks. This permits the lowering of many costs."
The first six companies to compete with state-run ICE in the telecommunications market have been authorized in Costa Rica.
The Superintendency of Telecommunications (Sutel) gave the green light to allow the companies to offer telephone over IP and Internet services.
According to La Prensa Libre de Costa Rica, the president of the Sutel Council, George Miley, said: “Today is a historic day for Costa Rica and especially for telecommunications. This is the first act that effectively opens the telecommunications sector. The authorization of these six companies, and the many more to come, provide a positive signal that will attract investment to this important area of the economy, at a necessary time for our country.”
Through a document presented to Sutel, ICE withdrew its objections to the entry of competitors in the telecommunications market.
The legal director of the Costa Rican Institute for Electricity, Erick Jiménez González, laid out in the document presented that the action is "with the purpose of collaborating in the regulatory process during the transition phase."
The Telecommunications Superintendent issued a resolution setting different requirements for telecommunication companies and Internet cafés.
SUTEL considered the preexistence of Internet cafés, their condition as SMBs and their contribution toward the development of new technologies to waive several requirements that apply only to telecommunication companies of greater size which will begin operations relying on the opening created by the DR-CAFTA coming into force.
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