Acelera hookups getting faster but phones were a problem

There is good news and bad news from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

The company said Thursday that it has been increasing the speed of its Acelera Internet connection with the goal of enticing customers to buy the higher velocity later.

But the company also admitted that its GSM telephone system had suffered failings this week because the firm that provided the system was making improvements. That company is Ericsson.

The institute, known as ICE, said the outages of the phone system were in the metro area Wednesday and in the early hours of Thursday. Phone customers could not complete their calls and many could not access their electronic messages.

Ericsson has a contract to maintain the system. The phone company did not say exactly what the problem was but added that the contractor acted to remedy it.

There were many complaints by cell phone users. ICE said
there was a similar problem in December. As a result the phone company said it raised the issue with Ericsson management, which agreed to change its processes.

With its Acelera customers, the company said that it was increasing the speed for those whose technical conditions would allow higher velocities. The customers getting the increased speed are in the 256 Kbps to 2 Mbps range, the company said.

The Acelera system has been troubled, too, and many customers complain that they are not getting the speed for which they have contracted. ICE said it is sending out text messages, e-mails and phone recordings to those who might get the free upgrade.

But the upgrade is only free until the promotional period is over, said the company. ICE will be holding a raffle in late April for those who choose to retain the higher Internet speeds, it said. That’s when the new rates will be ready.

Not coincidental is that ICE is facing more and more competition from television cable companies and wireless firms, thanks to the opening of the Internet market to private operators.

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