End of an era? Most of Peru’s public phones may be phased out

End of an era? Most of Peru’s public phones may be phased out

Peru’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) has published a draft decree in line with the Regulation of the Law for the Promotion of a Connected Peru, passed in June last year, in which it lays out a number of proposals, notably the partial phasing out of public telephones.

That’s not a big surprise. The country’s population uses public telephones less and less, so the government wants to move towards internet connectivity, for which there is greater demand.

Therefore operators may over time be relieved of their obligation to provide public telephony and instead have to offer broadband internet, specifically in rural areas or areas with a defined social need, both of which will be determined by government.

Online resource DPL News says that at least 55% of public telephones in the country are barely used, according to data from the ministry. Phones targeted for replacement will have an average traffic of less than three minutes a day during the past year.

Details are not too clear at the moment, but the idea seems to be that operators will be asked to propose to MTC new approaches that promote the reduction of the internet access gap, expand voice and broadband services, and whose implementation, operation and maintenance costs are equal to those of public telephony. Once these proposals are agreed, operators will be obliged to put them into effect. As it’s not clear what’s in it for the operators themselves, it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

A number of other points relating to up-to-date information about population and guaranteed minimum speed obligations for fixed and mobile broadband connections are also put forward in the proposals, which will be open for public consultation until the end of April. 

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