Caracas (OrinocoTribune.com)—The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, has established the Conectar 2030 Agenda, aiming to promote the expansion, sustainability, and innovation of telecommunications in Venezuela. As a part of this project, the head of state further approved a one-year tax exemption for companies dedicated to telecommunications and new technology.
During the opening ceremony of the first International Telecommunications Fair (FITELVEN) this Wednesday, September 27, the Venezuelan leader announced the creation of the Conectar 2030 Agenda, which will serve as a roadmap to promote the development of telecommunications in Venezuela.
La Feria Internacional de Telecomunicaciones de Venezuela 2023 muestra el camino recorrido y los resultados que hemos logrado con inversión, compromiso y la unión de todos los sectores en esta materia. pic.twitter.com/QFWSLBrLet
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) September 28, 2023
Between 2015 and 2019, the telecommunication sector of the economy was heavily affected by the tight price and fare control imposed by the Venezuelan government. Since 2019, the price controls were lifted, and these sectors began to charge users with prices that were typically more expensive than in neighboring countries.
Following a proposal from the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel), President Maduro announced the approval of the exemption from import taxes and from value added tax for communication-based enterprises. In addition, import duties for resources required for the development of the telecommunications companies were lifted.
President Maduro additionally instructed public banks to grant loans to telecommunications enterprises, in order to support projects aimed at expanding their services across the country. These new policies are aimed at encouraging alliances between public and private groups to promote the deployment of internet service through fiber optics.
“Let’s give CANTV, EDC Network, Caracas Metro, IFE, Los Teques Metro, Valencia Metro, Maracaibo Metro, and the infrastructure of the Ministry of Transportation,” he stated, “the resources and the mandate to deploy and develop of fiber optics that will reach more than three million homes.”
President Maduro also urged joint work between public and private internet service providers, to support the initiative that seeks to guarantee quality internet to 20 thousand public schools and high schools across the nations. Currently, there are 14 thousand educational centers that have access to internet services.
Telecommunication users neglected
For over three years, major telecommunication enterprises have been charging users with fares based on international standards, which go beyond the real capacity of payment of the majority of telecommunication users.
Private cellphone companies took the opportunity to charge international prices while forcing users to accept degraded services. These corporations do not invest in public telecommunications infrastructure, which has resulted in public outcry against their exploitation. Publicly owned companies are a cheaper alternative, but their fares have also been hiking in recent years despite no significant improvement in quality or coverage. This has the unfortunate consequence of driving the few that can afford it to migrate to private providers.
Many Venezuelans see President Maduro’s plans to improve telecommunications in the country in a positive light, although there are fears that the tax incentives will end up enriching a few multinational corporations without improving the quality and coverage of the telecommunication services.
Special for Orinoco Tribune by staff
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/December 9, 2023