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 Sunday, November 21, 2010
New law addresses the weaknesses of the networks of telecommunications in disasters, which were revealed in the earthquake of 27 February, especially on backup power antennas, quality of communication services and delivering timely and accurate information to citizens. In case of suspension, interruption or alteration of public telephone service and Internet, users will be compensated.

After the earthquake on last 27 February, President Piñera assumed as one of its commitments to restructure the country's emergency agencies and creating an early warning system "to avoid repetition of dialogues, confusion, ambiguity, we could observe that although we had institutions in charge, none fulfilled its duty to warn the Chileans and may have saved many lives", said the president.

The presidential task has taken a big step forward with the final approval of the National Congress of the Law on Reconstruction and Emergency Telecommunications, which was released yesterday unanimously for the enactment of the Executive. The new body of law creates an early warning system, following the best practices implemented in the U.S.A and Japan, for accurate and timely inform the public how to act in case of disaster.

At the same time, the Act addresses the weaknesses and shortcomings in telecommunications networks exposed after the earthquake happened, increasing the demands on telephone and Internet companies, especially in the field of energy support networks, service quality and communication compensation to users regarding failures or interruptions.

On this last point, the law grants public treatment and Internet service provides automatic deduction and payment of compensation in case of suspension, interruption or disruption of telephone service and Internet. It also clarifies that the discounts and allowances should also apply to services with flat plans and prepaid.

In this way, it seeks to ensure emergency service continuity in the public telecommunications system, providing to the State the tools to coordinate actions and have better
infrastructure prepared, identifying critical sites in the network that should have special measures security.

(Source: SUBTEL - Chile)
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