DirecTV, a company controlled by Vrio, which is in turn owned by Grupo Werthein, has announced that it will begin to offer DFibra, its Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Internet service, also in Chile. In this way, the company keeps expanding this new service to more South American countries as a strategy to enhance its Pay TV offering, as preannounced by Darío Werthein and Mariana Lischner Goldvarg (Vrio President and CEO, respectively) during a virtual press conference held in December 2022. The FTTH service was officially launched in Argentina in late 2021, in Brazil in mid 2022 (under the Sky Fibra brand), in Peru in May 2023 and in Ecuador in July 2023. It is worth mentioning that in the press release in which the launch of the service in Chile was announced, the company confirmed that Chile would be followed by Colombia, where the company is already offering fixed Internet, though mainly LTE.
According to information given to TAVI Latam by DirecTV, DFibra is not on sale yet, but it will be available soon. It will be possible to sign up for the service separately or in a pack together with the Pay TV service. In November 2022, Chilean newspaper Diario Financiero revealed that the company had applied to Subtel, the Chilean telecommunications regulatory agency, for expansion of its Pay TV license in order that Internet service would be added. The application was approved a few days ago.
In order to be able to provide the new service, DirecTV leased a third party’s wholesale network. It partnered with On Net Fibra, 60% of which is owned by investment fund KKR and 40% of which belongs to Telefónica, as had been disclosed by Werthein and Lischner Goldvarg last December. On Net Fibra’s network is deployed over most of the Chilean territory and reaches 15 regions.
In the press release, the company explained the following: “At its first stage, the service will be available in areas located in six Chilean regions and it will expand to other territories during 2023.” In the initial phase, it will be made available to approximately 800,000 homes. According to the company, “the launch plan provides for a USD 53 million investment over the next three years.” Mariano Montaldo, DirecTV Chile Country Manager, told Diario Financiero they estimate DFibra will be in operation throughout the country by 2024.