Cablevisión plans to offer a total of 20 HD channels by the end of the year and 30 by mid 2011.
Cablevisión chief executive Carlos Moltini confirmed the plans to The Argentine Post last week after a meeting with local bloggers.
Argentina’s leading cable TV provider is also working on plans to offer much faster download speeds to customers of its Fibertel Internet service.
Fibertel will offer Internet downloads speeds up to 10x faster than those currently available, Moltini said in the meeting. The company will offer the faster service by deploying the so-called DOCSIS 3.0 modem technology already used in the U.S.
Moltini said Cablevisión is technically close to being able to deploy the new technology. But it’s unclear exactly when the faster broadband service will be launched.
Cablevisión, owned by the multimedia giant Grupo Clarín, is under heavy attack from the government, which accuses it of operating without a proper broadband license.
As a result, the company is concerned that launching the service now might be interpreted as a political move rather than a simple product launch.
Moltini said the company’s license is perfectly legal and that the government is simply using the license issue as an excuse to attack the media company and curb freedom of the press in Argentina.
The government has repeatedly accused Grupo Clarín, and the newspaper La Nación, of coup-mondering through biased reporting.
Last week the government announced plans to take over the nation’s newspaper production industry, saying this is necessary to ensure freedom of the press.
Critics have said the move is merely an attempt to silence voices that question the wisdom of government policies.
As for the Internet, Moltini said the government has never shown any interest in making broadband access more available.
“If they really cared about Internet access, they would lower the import taxes on all the equipment we have to buy to improve the network,” Moltini said.
*Photo: Cablevisión’s Carlos Moltini explaining the the company’s history and its acquisition of cable and broadband operating licenses in Argentina.