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Presidente Piñera enacts law requiring the removal of cables in disuse: “We will have more beautiful, humane, pleasant and safer cities”

Companies will have five months to remove cables declared redundant by the municipalities and risk a maximum fine of 1,000 UTM (49 million pesos or around US$69 million) if they do not.

President Sebastián Piñera this Monday enacted the law to enforce the removal of aerial cables in disuse, with the goal of improving the quality of life in cities by eliminating objects that create insecurity and visual contamination.

“This is to have more beautiful, humane, pleasant and safer cities,” said the President at a ceremony held in the La Reina district of Santiago. He was accompanied by Transport and Telecommunications Minister Gloria Hutt, Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet, and neighbors and representatives of telecommunications companies.

The cables in disuse have a negative impact on the surroundings of city dwellers in Chile. The new law establishes that companies are responsible for the installation, identification, modification, maintenance, organization, relocation and removal of aerial or underground cable wiring.

In Chile, 647 kilometers of cables in disuse had already been removed as of March 2019, equivalent to the distance between Santiago and Temuco. It is expected that 2,000 kilometers of “aerial waste” will have been eliminated by the end of President Piñera’s government.

“This will help us make progress towards a city that is more humane and pleasant to live in,” the President said.

The timeframe to remove the cables cannot exceed five months from the moment they are declared redundant by the corresponding municipality. Any damage or loss that is generated as a result of these works will be the exclusive responsibility of the company.

If the company does not remove the cables within the five-month period, the municipalities will be able to remove these elements at the expense of the companies. Non-compliance with this obligation will be penalized with a fine of between 100 and 1,000 UTM (between 4.9 million and 49 million Chilean pesos, or US$6.9 million to US$69 million), payable to the municipality.

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