Costa Rica
Press Release

ICE will slow investment in copper-based telephony and modernize fixed service technology

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, August 25, 2022

This is a machine translation of the Grupo ICE release originally published in Spanish.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) will slow down the investment it makes to provide copper-based fixed telephony and maintain this network. To achieve the objective, ICE is promoting investment in technological modernization, such as the replacement of copper with optical fiber (IP fixed telephony) and the implementation of fixed connections that converge with mobile ones.

In addition, it is working on purging its base of assets due to the end of their useful life and optimization in the revaluation of assets, as well as the reduction of outages and service and installation times.

The actions seek to mitigate the loss of 453 billion colones caused by providing this service as the only operator and with only one rate increase in 13 years. On April 8, ICE submitted a supporting study to SUTEL to review and update the service rate. The request is in the admissibility stage.

After the changes linked to the opening of telecommunications, ICE assumed the provision of the service based on copper without rebalancing or acknowledgments. However, and with the consent of the regulator, other operators began, continued and today carry out the commercialization of fixed IP telephony.

“In this administration we are being proactive, responsible and diligent in drawing attention to this matter, to find a definitive solution. We will provide our customers with cutting-edge technology options that improve the fixed service, reduce the investment we must make to make it sustainable and help us reduce the impact of cable theft,” said Marco Acuña, president of Grupo ICE.

The asymmetry in fixed telephony after the opening of the market violates the financial sustainability of ICE, because it assumed the deficit cost of operating the service.

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