Flourish of Pen Opens Door To Private Telecom Market
In a historic moment for Costa Rica, President Oscar Arias signed a law yesterday that will end the state’s 59-year-old monopoly on telecommunications services.
The measure will allow other national and foreign firms to join the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) in offering cell phone, Internet, radio and other telecom services here.
The law will go into effect after it is published in La Gaceta, the official government daily newspaper.
The first private telecom firm will likely open in two years, ICE President Pedro Pablo Quirós said Wednesday. An open market will be welcome to foreigners without residency, who are not allowed to own their own land or cell phone lines through ICE.
Competition will force ICE to improve its outdated services, Quirós said.
“We have 12,500 employees and 8,000 contractors,” he said. “We should not be running the company like a general store.”
The law puts Costa Rica in compliance with the most hotly contested part of the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA), ratified by referendum in October.
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in the past decade to protest an open telecom market.
You may be interested
Mexico opens border to women and children from migrant caravanAFP - October 20, 2018
Mexican authorities on Saturday allowed dozens of women and children from the Honduran migrant caravan to pass into its territory,…
Venezuela accuses Costa Rica of ‘subordination’ to U.S.AFP - October 20, 2018
Venezuela criticized Costa Rica this week for expressing support for several countries that have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC)…
Lifeguards call for help in Costa Rica: support their work in OsaPerry Gladstone - October 20, 2018
Over the last four years, the Lifeguards of Costa Ballena have performed 240 in-water rescues, administered first aid 100 times…