Uruguay regulator goes after illegal STBs, FTA services

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 26 March 2015

Following a proposal from Uruguay's telecoms regulator URSEC supported by Alianza the Comisión Interamericana de Telecomunicaciones (CITEL) has agreed a request to stop the importation, commercialisation and use of illegal set-top boxes and free-to-air receptors.

Every country member of CITEL has been asked to deploy new regulations to stop business activity around devices which can receive cable and satellite signals without authorisation. CITEL has also sent a communication to satellite operators to ask them to keep their equipment up-to-date.

The decision was supported by the 21 pay-TV-related companies inside Alianza, an organisation created in 2013 to fight piracy across Latin America. The group recently presented its latest results, having completed an operation against AZBox, a brand of illegal FTA equipment, thanks to the collaboration of NAGRA, Brazil's Claro and public agencies.

"CITEL's request is a great win for us, as it helps Alianza to raise awareness around piracy and its consequences," commented Michael Hartman, SVP and general counsel of DIRECTV Latin America. "Pay-TV piracy damages the industry, damages the countries and affects the customers, which count on no support for their product."

"The decision is in tune with FIC Latin America's work in the region, it's a clear manifestation of the commitment and collaboration which has to exist between countries to stop piracy," added Daniel Steinmetz, chief anti-piracy officer at FOX International Channels (FIC) Latin America.