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Competition In Internet Service Getting Ready To Begin Operations

By: Inside Costa Rica (Original here)

A total of 44 companies are looking forward to giving the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) competition for internet services.

Of the 44 who have expressed an interest, 27 are waiting on the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) to issue them a permit to begin operations, while the rest are still in the approval process.

It is expected that the 27 companies, or the better part of them, will begin offering internet services by the end of this month or the next.

Currently only ICE and the Radiográfica Costarricense (Racsa), a wholly owned ICE subsidiary, are offering internet services in Costa Rica.

The approval of the Ley de Telecommunicaciones ended the 60 year ICE monopoly on telecommunications in the country and created the Sutel, allowing competitors to enter the market.

However, delays and legal tactics by ICE, like the failure to pay Sutel fees on time, have stalled the process of competition, especially in the cellular telephone service sector.

The process of obtaining an operating permit is in four steps: initial presentation, publication of proposal, opposition and licensing, according to the Sutel.