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Fixed broadband access to reach 83.7 mln in 2022 in LatAm

Fixed broadband connections in Latin America will reach 83.7 million in 2022 with a penetration rate of 13.2 percent over the total population, according to Dataxis forecasts. Moreover, by the end of 2017, fixed broadband will reach 71 million with a penetration rate of 11.6 percent. The development of the fixed broadband service is not homogeneous as a group of countries have a relatively high penetration rate while others, including Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Paraguay, are still below 5 percent.

Uruguay is by far the country with the highest penetration rate of fixed broadband in Latin America, namely 25 percent. On the other hand, Argentina, Chile and Puerto Rico closed the top group with a penetration rate of over 15 percent at the end of 2017, while, Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil are above the regional average. Fixed broadband service growth is expected throughout the region, but the differences in development between countries will remain. For example, in eight countries, the penetration rate will remain below 9 percent. However, the proportion of ultra-broadband will be generalised, going from 36 percent connections at the end of this year to reach 75 percent in 2022.

BT offers double reward cards and 12-month discount with broadband bundles

BT is offering prepaid Reward cards and M&S vouchers as freebies with some discounted broadband packages. Among the bundles including the free bonuses is the BT Unlimited Broadband & Calls deal. This offers broadband speeds of up to 17Mbps and unlimited downloads, along with a free BT Reward card worth ?60 and an M&S prepaid card worth ?40.

The 12-month contract costs ?26.99 a month (plus a ?9.99 set-up cost), which means subscribers will enjoy a discount worth ?36 on their broadband across the whole year. Another option for households in the market for a new broadband deal could be the BT Infinity Fibre Unlimited Broadband & Calls package. This offers broadband speeds of up to 52Mbps and unlimited downloads, an M&S prepaid card worth ?40 and a free BT Reward card prepaid with a sum of ?120.

The 12-month contract costs ?31.99 per month, along with a set-up cost of ?34.99. This adds up to an overall discount over the year of ?96. Alternatively, the BT Infinity Fibre Unlimited Broadband, Calls & Starter + BT Sport package might be a popular choice.

This also offers broadband speeds of up to 52Mbps, unlimited downloads and a free ?120 prepaid BT Reward card and ?40 prepaid M&S card. However, subscribers can also add a BT Sport pack for ?3.50 a month and enjoy up to 100 Freeview channels, including 21 in HD. This 12-month contract costs ?35.49 per month, plus a ?69.99 setup cost.

A BT prepaid Reward card simply needs to be activated before being spent at any retailer that shows a MasterCard logo.

BT states that since the card uses Chip and PIN, it is a more secure alternative to spending physical cash.

Welsh govt gets recommendations on how to connect last 4%

The Welsh government has received the latest report from its Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee on how to connect the last 4 percent in Wales without broadband access, and how government reforms could help improve mobile phone coverage. The committee gave a series of recommendations, saying in general that the last 4 percent should be brought into the process and have a say on eventual action. The Welsh government should also reform the planning regime to allow the installation of telecoms masts that cover a wider geographical range. To help encourage deployment, the government should consider establishing a repayable grant or equity scheme to allow small operators to fill broadband gaps. It could make future public subsidies to landowners/farmers conditional on them allowing mobile phone masts on their land.

Finally, regulator Ofcom needs to use all of its regulatory powers to meet its target of 100 percent mobile coverage and, as a minimum, this should be a condition of future auctions of the right to transmit.