Venezuela’s dominant broadband operator CANTV has announced that starting Monday 15 April it will upgrade its DSL internet access speeds, doubling its standard 512kbps (download) package limit to 1Mbps, while a faster premium speed of 4Mbps will be offered in a new consumer/small business plan, ‘Aba Mega Productivo’, twice the speed of the existing 2Mbps ‘Aba Super Productivo’. The 4Mbps package is priced at VEF500 (USD79) a month including VAT compared to VEF400 for the 2Mbps connection. The move comes seven months after CANTV doubled its entry-level DSL package speed from 256kbps to 512kbps, as reported by CommsUpdate in September 2012. Venezuelan newspaper El Mundo reports that CANTV’s latest DSL upgrade programme will take around three months to complete, while the company has also announced a current investment budget of VEF514 million for fixed broadband infrastructure; the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation says that in the past six years CANTV’s internet infrastructure investment totals VEF1.9 billion.
CANTV reportedly has a total of 1.9 million fixed internet subscribers, up from 1.8 million at the end of December 2012, according to data from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The state-owned telco is focused on expanding broadband coverage to the farthest corners of the country, and backs up this claim with the statistics that in 2012 the number of subscribers grew by more than 500% in remote areas such as the Amazon region, while the user bases in more populous regions Miranda and Distrito Capital increased by 80% and 90%, respectively.