Cable TV Companies At War With CNFL And ICE

Work crews of the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL) have been issued orders to remove all of the 1.700 light posts in the downtown San José area as part of an aggressive campaign by the power utility as it continues to bury all services cables underground.

For the most part all the electrical and telephone cabling has already gone underground following years of installing an underground cable network.

However, a large part of the old cables are still hanging from the posts and they include cables by the television cable companies.

Fructuoso Garrido, manager of distribution for the CNFL, explained that work crews were busy this weekend cutting down cables still hanging on the posts in Barrio Amón as part of the plan to clean up the neighbourhood.

According to Garrido, the CNFL  had issued an order to all cable companies to remove all its cabling and that the posts will come down.

A number of Amnet customers complained to the cable company when they were without service after CNFL crews followed their orders of cutting down all current cabling on the posts.

Garrido said that the war between the cable companies and the CNFL was something sure to happen, as the cable companies have not complied with the order, charging that the CNFL, which is part of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), is forcing them out of the market with excessive costs to run their cables and now cutting them off all together.

With the opening of the telecommunications market, cable companies, for instance, can now also offer internet and other telephone services over their cables, which according to the cable companies, is not welcomed competition for ICE.

The Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) - the recently created telcommunications regulator - is expected to get involved as it is requested to analyze each and every of the complaints filed by the cable companies against the CNFL and ICE.




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