Socorro Hernández, Minister of People’s Power for Telecommunications and Information Technology and President of the Venezuelan National Telephone Corporation (Cantv), affirmed that the nationalization of the firm produced important benefits.
This is due to the fact that after being transferred to government management, Cantv increased its net income, cut unnecessary costs and increased investments compared to when it was privately operated.
During a Thursday presentation of Cantv’s 2008 performance, Hernández noted that the company’s 2007 and 2008 investments in improving telecommunications were double the annual averages of the past decade.
“The goals we projected for our 2008 performance were surpassed,” she emphasized.
Hernández indicated that operating and financial results grew positively compared to 2007. Fiber optic networks, fixed telephone lines and mobile services also significantly increased.
“We are determined to connect all the voices of the nation,” the Minister said.
She said that during 2008 over a million new home telephone lines were installed, a 7.8% increase over the proposed goal for the year.
The Minister emphasized that Cantv is the telecommunications market leader, with 79.5% of fixed phone lines in the country.
Regarding mobile services, Hernández emphasized that the increase of Movilnet (the mobile services division of Cantv) users also surpassed the goal set for the year. Over two million new mobile phone lines were registered, which means that Movilnet’s share of the market grew to 43.3%.
“It is clear that with these results, socialism is proceeding efficiently and that is the path we have chosen,” she said.
Minister Hernández further noted that 1,131 kilometers of fiber optic network were installed in 2008. Venezuela’s fiber optic network is now 8,900 km long.
She then said that Cantv will extend the network to 19,000 km, with the goal of spurring commercial production and settlement throughout the country.
“The purpose of this is to bring services to the north-plains axis so that our population has the incentive to move to create new areas of production throughout the nation’s territory,” she explained.
Health services also benefited with Cantv’s help. The company offered itnernet access to over one thousand health care centers belonging to ‘Misión Barrio Adentro’ (a health care social program).
Hernández noted that the telephone company also contributes to children’s education. 259 school systems gained internet access in 2008, connecting over 2,000 schools and 76,000 Venezuelans, including students and professors.
“Our goal is to connect every school in the country. It is fundamental for us to bring knowledge to our people,” she emphasized.
The Minister also added that the state phone company is working hard to boost the socialist model and integrate itself into communities. As such, 350 telecommunications community boards have been created and the company is working with over 100 cooperatives.
“We are also working for social inclusion,” she concluded.
Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / March 12, 2009