Paraguayan telecoms regulator Consejo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Conatel) has unveiled plans to deploy open access telecoms infrastructure in the capital city Asuncion. Although the project is still at the planning stage, the network may also be utilised by television operators. According to local newspaper La Nacion, if the technical specifications are approved, the network could be partially funded by the country’s Universal Service Fund (USF), with additional contributions from the operators themselves.
TeleGeography notes that, since its inception, the USF has traditionally been used to extend telecoms services to under-served or rural locations. However, recent months have seen Conatel change tack and use the USF to fund urban projects as well. In November 2013 Conatel revealed plans to deploy free Wi-Fi networks in 50 town plazas across 37 municipalities in a USF-bankrolled scheme. At least one square in each of Paraguay’s 129 districts is expected to offer free Wi-Fi by 2015.