Argentine ICT cooperatives call on govt to resolve import barriers

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, December 15, 2022

Argentine cooperative federations and chambers Catel, Colsecor and Fedecoba, which represent around 400 providers of ICT and cable TV services, have requested a meeting with the trade ministry to review barriers to imports of equipment and software for the telecommunications sector.

The cooperatives claim that the industry requires "basic inputs" from abroad, the supply of which is made difficult due to the lack of authorizations. 

"We understand that reviews are done on a case-by-case basis, but the fact is that our work to extend and maintain networks is practically halted, which is why we have to ask to maintain the value chain for ICT services," they said in a public letter to the trade ministry.

In addition to works on ICT networks, these cooperatives are often responsible for public policy plans such as the connectivity programs promoted by regulator Enacom.

"By not having the economies of scale of certain national or global providers, we make great efforts in reinvestment when it comes to maintaining service conditions, and we have serious problems sustaining reasonable prices,"  the letter adds, referring to decree 690 issued in 2020, which imposed price controls for telecommunications services.

While the large players are able to obtain legal rulings to allow them to increase prices, the cooperatives say they are the only players in the sector that comply with all of the provisions of the decree.

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