After an agreement with the companies in the sector, there will be no increases for the next three months and prices will be taken from the beginning of May
From the negotiations between the government and the telecommunication companies, the freezing of tariffs of cellular and fixed telephony; Internet and cable television until August 31.
The prices that the companies must take as parameters are those in force on May 1, as the National Communications Entity (Enacom) finished defining, within the framework of a series of agreements reached with the companies Movistar, Telecom , Claro, Cablevisión and Telecentro, among others.
As they explained to iProfessional from the entity that Claudio directs Ambrosini, the measure will benefit all Argentines, considering that in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, communications became an essential service.
Ambrosini attended the Government House during the day of this Monday, May 18, to hold a meeting with the President Alberto Fernández to refine the details of the measure that is complemented by the prohibition to fire employees until the same date.
Freezing of tariffs: Claudio Ambrosini, head of Enacom, meeting with Alberto Fernández.
There will also be a series of services similar to the usual ones for those who cannot access to continue paying their current bills to be implemented by the operators and which will be complementary and offered through the pre and post payment modalities.
Price freezes on products and services
In this way, and as iProfesional anticipated, the freezing of telecommunications services is added to that of the prices of 2,000 foods that will remain unchanged until the end of June, as well as that of electricity and gas rates, with the same amounts also up to mid-year.
To achieve this objective, the authorities opened a path of dialogue with companies in order to avoid having to take the discussion to Congress, where a bill promoted by 50 deputies of the Frente de Todos had been presented, seeking the same objective. . In other words, freezing prices but by passing a law so that Congress can regulate the rates.
The initiative is promoted by the Kirchner deputy Fernanda Vallejos and is now on standby, although it will not be withdrawn by Deputies.
The legislator, together with the deputy José Luis Ramón, had also added a project to prevent the cut in services that was unified with that of the freezing of prices, which led to a new project that also obliges companies to maintain the quality of services.
In the case of the negotiations between Ambrosini and the companies, it was finally agreed that the prices to be taken as a reference are not those of March, as previously stated, but those of this May. The idea that the freeze is extended until the end of the year, but is maintained for the next three months, was also rejected..
In fact, the consumer defense associations have been warning of increases that companies began to send to customers, since last March, with bills up to 30% higher and multiple threats of service cuts.
However, from the companies it is ensured that their rates have not been retouched since December of last year, so that prices will remain based on these parameters.
Crisis relief measures
Enacom’s vice president, Gustavo López, also participated in the meetings, and both debated the possibility of establishing exceptional rules that contemplate the economic situation of a large part of the citizenry as a result of the current quarantine.
But since the entity does not have regulatory power, as in the case of electricity or gas distributors, the talks were oriented towards a kind of agreement with the providers of these services.
In the case of the bill for the Frente de Todos, in addition to Vallejos, he is accompanied by the president of the Budget and Finance Commission, Carlos Heller; the head of the Justicialista Party and three times governor of San Juan, José Luis Gioja; the referent of radicalism, Leopoldo Moreau and Hugo Yasky, head of the CTA.
It proposes to suspend “any type of modification in the prices and tariffs of the services of fixed and mobile telephony, Internet and cable television, by radio and satellite link charged to users, from March 1 and during the term of the Isolation Social, Preventive and Mandatory”
It also seeks to take communion with the package of measures decided by the national government to alleviate the delicate economic situation in the country, particularly those facing formal and informal workers, beneficiaries of social plans, monotributistas, unions, cooperatives and small and medium industry, among other sectors.
According to spokesperson for Deputy Vallejos, the increases were made despite the fact that Decrees 311/2020 and 426/2020 of the National Executive Power declared telecommunications services, fixed and mobile Internet and digital as “essential in the emergency”, prohibiting specifically the cut or suspension in case of default or non-payment of up to three consecutive or alternative invoices for a period of 180 days for a group of certain users.
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