Transparency and Competition Vs. Enforceability?

Costa Rica has $216 million to spend in bringing telephony and internet services to areas with no communication, a situation that causes clashes between the President and the Telecommunications Superintendency.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

President Chinchilla asked the telecommunications regulator in Costa Rica (SUTEL), to award the projects to bring internet services to schools to the state telecommunications company (ICE) without a bidding process.

While criticism keeps piling on the Telecommunications Authority for failing to execute the funds in the National Telecommunications Fund (Fonatel), an article in outlines that "The Sutel answered the presidential request with a defiant NO. The entity defended its view that Fonatel resources should be allocated to individual projects using tender processes. In the opinion of the Superintendent, this mechanism is the "most efficient, non-discriminatory and neutrally competitive" way to manage these resources. They added that programs aimed at providing services in rural communities which are not connected or are under-connected, should be merged with public government policy instruments such as 'Cerrando Brechas' (Closing Gaps), created by the Ministry of Public Education (MEP).

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More on this topic

Awards: Telecoms Projects for $10 million

May 2015

In Costa Rica contracts have been awarded to the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad and Claro to provide telephony and broadband Internet services in six cantons in the south of the country.

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) will be responsible for developing projects in Buenos Aires, Osa, Corredores, Coto Brus and Golfito. Meanwhile Claro de Costa Rica is in charge of projects in the area of ​​Perez Zeledon.

Costa Rica: $14 million for Telecommunications

June 2014

With resources from the National Telecommunications Fund the infrastructure required to provide services in the north of the country will be built.

The municipalities of San Carlos, Los Chiles, Guatuso and Upala have signed an agreement to expedite the process needed to be completed by the telecommunications companies Claro and Movistar in order to install base stations and to provide Internet service in the area.

Bureaucracy Slows Broadband Penetration in Costa Rica

May 2013

The multitude of paperwork and the Fondo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones are the obstacles preventing major progress in implementing fast internet services in Costa Rica.

"There is a significant increase (according to preliminary reports) in the number of broadband internet connections.

Tender for Rural Telephone Coverage

October 2012

An announcement has been made in Costa Rica for a tender for a project to give rural communities mobile and fixed telephone coverage, with funding from the National Telecommunications Fund.

The National Telecommunications Fund (Fonatel) is endowed with payments for operating licenses awarded to telecom operators such as Claro and Movistar, and currently has $190 million to be used to promote access to quality, timely, efficient, affordable and competitive telecommunications services, for the inhabitants of areas of the country where the cost of investment for the installation and maintenance of infrastructure for the provision of these services is not financially profitable.