Argentinean Government cancels Fibertel’s ISP licence

Argentina's federal planning minister Julio De Vido announced the expiry of the licence granted to internet service provider Fibertel in 2003. Fibertel was merged into Cablevision, effective April 2003.

As a result of that merger, Cablevision became the universal successor of all assets, rights and obligations of Fibertel, including the licence for provision of internet services, Grupo Clarin, owner of Cablevision, earlier said. Cablevision's over one million broadband subscribers will have one month to change their internet provider and switch to another operator, reports Argentine national news agency Telam.

"Fibertel and Cablevision ignored the current regulation framework for the telecommunications sector", stated De Vido during a press conference and added that the expiry of the licence was documented in Resolution 100 of the Communications Secretariat and was signed by its Secretary of Communications Carlos Lisandro Salas. "What we have done today is report an illegal attitude on the part of Cablevision. […] What we are doing is not granting authorization to Cablevision to provide a service from a company which was dissolved in the context of a merger that the National State did not approve", De Vido added. According to the minister, Cablevision does not have a license to provide broadband internet services, however, it continued exercising Fibertel's "legal powers".

Fibertel did possess a licence to provide telecommunication services although on 15 January 2010, both companies had signed the dissolution of Fibertel before the General Justice Inspection. The dissolution was the result of the "company reorganization" within the private group which did not receive the corresponding authorization from the regulation authorities. That is why "it is clear they have not abided by the regulation. It can no longer do this and it is therefore unauthorized to provide the services", said the Argentinean minister. Clarin plans to appeal the government's ruling. "This measure is so arbitrary and illegitimate we'll appeal – it violates the rights of the company and our clients," a source at Grupo Clarin told The Financial Times.