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Tribunal: Telemar not required to install phones in favela
[January 16, 2006]

Tribunal: Telemar not required to install phones in favela

( Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Brazil's largest fixed line telecoms operator Telemar has won a ruling relieving it of the obligation to provide telephone service in a Rio de Janeiro shantytown (favela) controlled by drug gangs, reported Folha de S.Paulo.

Rio's civil tribunal court awarded a first instance decision, meaning Telemar does not have to install phones in the homes of residents in the city's sprawling hillside favela of Rocinha.

Telemar cannot satisfactorily supply services in an area where drug traffickers do not permit the company's employees to have access to make repairs and install phone lines, according to tribunal magistrate Miguel ngelo.

Drug gangs often charge a fee to enter their area, and they decide which employees can deliver public services such as telecoms or garbage collection, and when. The drug gangs have assumed the role of the public authorities in these communities, according to the magistrate.

Only a real military operation is capable of guaranteeing security, he was reported as saying.

Brazilian telecoms law requires fixed line concession holders like Telemar to ensure coverage in all locations with less than 300 inhabitants.

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