Two years ago Antel announced plans to invest US$100 million to expand Uruguay’s fiber optic network to a quarter of a million homes. As promoted, the network would deliver Internet connection speeds 10-15x faster than the current ADSL technology.
So far 145,000 homes are connected, and the high-speed network is beginning to penetrate the country’s interior departments including Colonia, Mercedes, Rocha, Salto and Tacuarembo. Home connection is free, and homeowners can decide whether to keep their existing ADSL service or upgrade to the new modem.
Fiber optic service was first made available in Montevideo neighborhoods like Carrasco, Malvin, Pocitos, Parque Rodo and Punta Carretas. According to Antel, Uruguay is now number one in terms of regional fiber optic penetration and average Internet download speeds: 6.89 megabytes per second (Mbps) compared to 6.6 Mbps in Brazil.
Antel offers homeowners three fiber optic plans ranging in price from US$45 to US$80 per month. The entry-level plan (UYU $990) offers 30 Mbps Internet download speeds and 2 Mbps upload speeds, while the premium plan (UYU $1,590) delivers 120 Mbps downloads and 4Mbps uploads.
According to El Pais, a 20-country survey titled “Prices and Quality of Broadband in Latin America: Benchmarking & Trends” found that Uruguay offers the lowest rates for broadband access in the region. (Full Story in Spanish)
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