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A cut in the Movistar service in Ushuaia reveals that the network comes through Chile

In addition to the dependence on land transit that we Fuegians have with Chile, we now add that; The internet and mobile phone service provided by Movistar also reaches Ushuaia through the neighboring country.

16 de February de 2024 11:09

Other cell phone and internet services that the company provides to Tuenti, Personal and other companies are also down.

A prolonged interruption of the cell phone and internet service for Movistar users in Ushuaia revealed that the fiber optic cable, before arriving through the national territory, comes through Chile. A technical problem or lack of payment of the usage fee for transit through a trans-Andean stay, the service cannot be replaced, so the problem would lead Movistar and its local provider to an international legal dispute with an uncertain outcome.

The fact would be revealing that although communications are concessions from the Argentine State, which are governed by national legislation; Conversations, chats, emails and photographs pass through Chile.

Due to the permanent outages and interruptions in Ushuaia of these two companies, Agenda Malvinas consulted professionals and technicians in the matter to learn about this situation that has been happening since 2023.

The data provided by them indicates that the events originate in the years 2022-2023, when Movistar Argentina proceeded to replace the old copper telephone pair system - inherited from the old Entel - with a new system called HFC (which means Hybrid of Fiber Optic and Coaxial Cable, hence its acronym) , throughout Tierra del Fuego. And that, in that way; All the old landline telephone systems were migrated to the new system, both in Río Grande and Ushuaia.

They explained that “this technology is relatively new (there are more modern and efficient ones) and is based on reaching the nerve centers of each city from the operator's headquarters through Fiber Optic, which is then connected with a cable system, distributing the digital signal, in the same way that cable companies use, to provide digital television services.”

In this way, the cable reaches the home, is connected to a router or home distributor and from this device, the telephone signal is distributed, which today is digital, as well as the internet signal (whether cable or wireless: which we know as Wifi).

In this process, they assure that "the new service went through several failures, since the electronic elements provided were of poor quality, having to change some routers and almost all of the Chinese transformers that powered them."

Despite the series of complexities, at the end of 2023, the service was managed to stabilize, although users spent several days without receiving phone calls to their landline and, many times, making a call was impossible.

They assure that, to carry out this migration, Movistar partnered with a local cable company, Ushuaia Visión (in Río Grande with TV Fuego), to which it delegated all service and technical attention .

On December 26 of last year , Movistar customers in Ushuaia were affected by a fiber cut that affected the HFC system installed in the Fuegian Capital.

That outage lasted almost three days, since the place where it was generated was difficult to access, the company itself reported. Obviously, Movistar Argentina could do nothing since the Ushuaia cable television company “has subcontracted the service with an operator Chilean, which runs through Chilean territory and with an infrastructure that does not belong to Argentina,” say the professionals.

In this way, all our telephone conversations, our chats, emails, photos, etc. go through Chile. Beyond that, communications in Argentina are concessions from the National State that are governed by our laws.

Malvinas Agenda also communicated with some retirees from the technical area who worked at Entel and then at Movistar . In principle they assured that there was no dependence on Chile, that the Fiber Optic came from the continent, crossed the Strait of Magellan through Argentine waters and that then it covered Río Grande, Tolhuin and Ushuaia.

It was credible. Many of us have seen the fiber cabling work on the side of National Route 3, which is piped in black plastic rolls, with capacity for a good package of optical fibers.

On January 26 , we had another service interruption again, but it only affected some customers.Apparently a vehicle took away a fiber optic trunk in the city.

Then on February 4 , again a 24-hour outage affected all Movistar customers in the Capital of the Province. This time due to a problem in Chile.

Again, this Monday, February 12, Movistar interrupted the service early on and as of the time of writing this note, it has not returned. The cut is total, and again the cut would be happening in Chile.

For whatever reasons, other cell phone and internet services provided by the company to Tuenti, Personal and others are also down.

Faced with this situation, it is worth asking ourselves; Hadn't Arsat built a fantastic Fiber Optic network throughout the country, reaching all the way to Ushuaia? Hadn't the provincial government participated in this venture? What does Enacom think of these repeated anomalies? What does it do? the Government of the Province to avoid these events? Doesn't the dependence on Chile for communications affect the security of Argentines? Why is there silence about it? Why is the population not clearly informed?

When we asked why this situation is not replicated in Río Grande and Tolhuin, where similar migration work was also carried out, the technicians affirm that in those two cities “they do not depend on Chile.”

“This is of unusual severity and Movistar of Argentina will have to give explanations,” said the sources to whom Agenda Malvinas turned.

By Agenda Malvinas

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