In South American enterprise bandwidth news, Venezuela gets little attention — slightly counteracting the outsized political crap we have endured for so long. So Level 3’s contract expansion with Grupo La Caridad was aptly timed. The poultry producer has expanded the availability of Level 3’s IP-VPN to its subsidiary Avicola la Rosita, thus facilitating the exchange of data across 33 locations throughout the country via both fiber and satellite.
The growing South American bandwidth appetite we’ve been seeing in the past few years has been more of a Brazilian and Colombian phenomenon. It was just over a month ago that Venezuela devalued its currency again, likely taking a substantial foreign exchange bite out of Level 3’s first quarter according to the last earnings call. Level 3’s Venezuelan business came from Global Crossing of course, as did the relationship with Grupo La Caridad, and it sure would be nice if they managed to join the bandwidth party everyone else on the continent has been enjoying.
With the death of Hugo Chavez last week in Cuba, perhaps there’s a chance that the country will move on to a more healthy relationship with the business community as a whole – both foreign and domestic. As we’ve seen on the other side of the planet in Myanmar, a thawing of the political situation can result in rapid responses by telecommunications providers to invest money into a hopefully soon-to-boom economy. Or not… I suppose it’s too early yet to hope for such things. We’ll have to see what happens next.
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