On May 1st and 4th, 2020, Decree No. 426/2020 (the “Decree”) and Resolution No. 367/2020 (the “Resolution”), respectively, were published in the Official Gazette. Both rules further supplement Decree No. 311/2020, which bans providers from ceasing to supply services  comprising fixed or mobile telephony, Internet and cable television to certain users (listed therein), in case of delay or lack of payments up to three (3) consecutive or alternate bills with due dates as from March 1st, 2020.

Below is a summary of the regulations’ most relevant aspects.

1. Decree No. 426/2020

The Decree extends until May 31st, 2020, the obligation placed upon the providers of telecommunication services to offer limited services capable of guaranteeing  connectivity to users who fail to pay top-up fees to access consumption, and the resulting impossibility to shut-off the service due to such cause.

2. Resolution No. 367/2020

The Resolution has been issued by the National Communications Agency (“ENACOM”, for its Spanish acronym), with the purpose of supplementing certain provisions included in Decree No. 311/2020 and Resolution No. 173/2020, issued by the Ministry of Productive Development, with regards to telecommunication services’ providers.

The Resolution imposes the following additional obligations over those companies:

  1. The obligation to provide, within a maximum term of three (3) days, the following data: 1) List of all users whose service is registered prior to March 26th, 2020, that may be subject to shut-off caused by lack of payment, or keep ongoing shut-off notices; and whose invoices were due as of March 1st, 2020; and 2) List of all the users with pre-paid services who have required a top-up on February and/or March, 2020. This information has to be entered as a Sworn Affidavit in accordance with Appendix No. 1 of the Resolution, available at the following link.
  2. The prohibition to suspend or shut-off services due to lack of payment from users not included in the lists prepared by the Coordination Unit created via Resolution No. 173/2020.
  3. The obligation to report to the ENACOM within the first (15) days as of the Resolution, all prices established for the limited services comprised by article 1 of Decree No. 311/2020 and the terms and conditions and/or forms of the financial facilities offered to users and their information process. Those financial facilities should at least prescribe the possibility for the service to be paid in three (3) monthly installments, to which no interest will accrue, nor penalty will be applicable.
  4. The obligation to publicly disclose these regulatory provisions not only through providers’ web pages, but also via the social networks used and/or advertisement.

Failure to comply with these will result in penalties being imposed under Law No. 26,522 and 27,078, as applicable.

For further information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev and/or Javier Constanzó.

In the following link, you can access the Firm’s statement on COVID-19.

For information concerning COVID-19 legal implications, please refer here.