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Spanish Government Plans Universal Internet Service by 2002
Jun 3, 2001

The Spanish government announced on June 1 that the internet will be considered a universal service by 2002. The authorities want to guarantee that all users receive quality internet access at an affordable rate, as well as to protect the general interest in a deregulated sector.

The completion of this objective calls for the creation of a financial fund which will nourish telephony operators with the aim, as set out in the general telecommunications law, of financing a universal service. The fund will be provided by both fixed-line and mobile telephony operators, with contributions in proportion to their income. The establishment of a set or regulations for the sector was one of the key points raised in talks between Jesus Banegas, chairman of Aniel, managing director of telecommunications operator Retevision Josep Canos, and Maria Victoria Hernandez, chairman of Uni2. Hernandez stated that just and transparent competition regulations are needed in order to ensure the return of investment, otherwise operators will only spend money in areas where a return is guaranteed.

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