How to access the Universal Basic Rate that has been in force since January 1?

As of January 1, the mandatory Universal Basic Benefit (PBU) came into effect for mobile communications services, fixed telephony, internet and subscription TV through Resolution 1467/20. In first estimates, it is estimated that it may reach 10 million people. However, official sources admitted that some service providers still do not provide the service and argue that it is still “not in force.”

The announcement was accompanied by a new increase in service rates of 5%, in a negotiation between the Government and companies that seek staggered increases close to 20%. It is worth remembering that in 2019 the increases in the telecommunications sector reached 63.9%, exceeding the average annual inflation by 10 points and being one of the items that registered the most rates.

What plans does the PBU establish?

  • Fixed telephony: The plan will cost $ 380 per month and will include 300 minutes of local and long distance calls to landlines in Argentina, calls to 0800 and free emergency numbers and unlimited incoming calls.

  • Cell phone: It will cost $ 150 per month and will include 500 minutes in calls to cell phones of the same company, 50 minutes to numbers of other companies, 500 SMS, websites and 0800 released and WhatsApp messages only text. In the case of the use of mobile data there will be two options. The first will be priced at $ 200 per month and will allow you to use 1GB. The second mode is prepaid and will offer 50 MB per day and will cost $ 18 per day.

  • Internet access for homes: Providers with more than 50,000 clients will offer a service of 10 Mbps (megabytes per second) for $ 700 in the AMBA and 5 Mbps for the same value in the rest of the country. Providers that have between 2,000 and 50,000 clients will offer 5 Mbps for $ 700; in this case, the beneficiary may choose to access the lower speed plan offered by the company with a 30% discount. Lastly, providers with less than 2,000 clients will offer 2 Mbps for $ 600.

  • Pay TV: the basic benefit implies a discount on the price of the plan with the lowest value offered by the operator as of July 31 last and / or subsequent increases that are authorized. If the operator has more than 500,000 subscribers, the discount will be 30%; if you have between 100,000 and 500,000, 25%; between 30,000 and 100,000, 20%.

What procedure must be done to hire it?

As stipulated by Enacom resolution 1467/20, persons who intend to join and request the PBU must complete a affidavit that can be downloaded from the agency’s website and present it to the company providing the service you want to hire. Once any of the services have been requested, the company must verify that the applicant meets the requirements to access the basic rate.

Who can access?

The following users may choose to adhere to the Basic Universal Benefits:

  • A) Beneficiaries of the Universal Child Allowance (AUH) and the Pregnancy Allowance, as well as their children / custody between SIXTEEN (16) and EIGHTEEN (18) years, and members of their family group (father / mother, spouse / partner).
  • B) Beneficiaries of Non-Contributory Pensions who receive gross monthly income not exceeding TWO (2) Minimum Vital and Mobile Wages as well as their children / tenure between SIXTEEN (16) and EIGHTEEN (18) years.
  • C) Registered users and users registered in the Social Monotax Regime as well as their children / possession between SIXTEEN (16) and EIGHTEEN (18) years old.
  • D) Retired and retired; pensioners and pensioners; and workers in a dependency relationship who receive a gross remuneration less than or equal to TWO (2) Minimum Vital and Mobile Wages as well as their children / tenure between SIXTEEN (16) and EIGHTEEN (18) years.
  • E) Registered monotax workers and registered workers in a category whose monthly annual income does not exceed TWO (2) Minimum Vital and Mobile Wages as well as their children / tenure between SIXTEEN (16) and EIGHTEEN (18) years.
  • F) Users who receive unemployment insurance as well as their children / possession between SIXTEEN (16) and EIGHTEEN (18) years.
  • G) Users incorporated and incorporated in the Special Social Security Scheme for Employees of Private Houses (Law No. 26,844) as well as their children / possession between SIXTEEN (16) and EIGHTEEN (18) years.
  • H) Users who receive a grant from the Progresar program.
  • I) People who are unemployed or work in the informal economy, as well as their children / possession between SIXTEEN (16) and EIGHTEEN (18) years.
  • J) Beneficiaries of social programs, as well as their children / children between SIXTEEN (16) and EIGHTEEN (18) years.
  • K) Neighborhood and Town Clubs that are registered in accordance with the provisions of Law 27,098.
  • L) Voluntary Firefighters Associations defined by Law 25,054 as first-degree entities and that are registered under the terms of said law.
  • M) Public Good Entities defined by Law 27.218 as: civil associations, simple associations and foundations that do not pursue profit directly or indirectly and community non-profit organizations with municipal recognition that carry out programs for the promotion and protection of rights or they carry out direct social aid activities without charging the recipients for the services they provide, and must be registered with the National Center for Community Organizations (CENOC).

The human right to communication and ICT

Decree 690/20 signed by Alberto Fernández raises access to information and communication technologies (ICT) as a human right. If it is indeed a fundamental right for the entire population, it is worth asking: are these measures sufficient to guarantee access for the millions most affected by the crisis, unemployment and poverty?

And meanwhile: can the increases that private providers negotiate with the State be allowed to continue? Or should it be debated, once and for all, how essential the nationalization of telecommunications is, so that they cease to be governed by the logic of capitalist profit and are put at the service of the needs of the majority of the population?

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