This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on global corporations.
|Key people||Fernando Panesso Serna (President), Andrés Pérez Velasco (Secretary General), Carlos Alberto Malagón Bolaños (Vice President), Isam Hauchar Agudelo (Commercial Vice President), Ilva Nubia Herrera Gálvez (Vice President of Human Relations & Administrative Resources), Mario Contreras Amador (Financial Vice President), Hugo Eslava Eljaiek (Vice President of Service Security Measures), Gustavo Adolfo Cala Ardila (Vice President of Regulations, Quality and Negotiations of Operators), Yanet García García (Vice President of Information), Dario Lara Caicedo (Vice President of Internet Planning and Development)|
- 1 Contact Information
- 2 Company History
- 3 Political and Public Influence
- 4 Corporate Accountability
- 5 Business Scope
- 6 Governance
- 7 Articles and Resources
ETB was created on August 28, 1884 when a Cuban, José Raimundo Martínez created the Colombian Telephone Company. The company’s first headquarters was in the Arrubla Galleries, on the western side of the Plaza Bolívar, on 10th street and 8th avenue. In 1900, when they had 100 installed lines, a fire destroyed a good part of the Arrubla Galleries and taking with it the facilities and the main office of the Colombian Telephone Company. Six years later, they resumed provision service by the means of The Bogotá Telephone Company. The headquarters of the new company were located on 8th avenue and 20th street, where the principle offices of the company were located.
Although the concession offered for the exploitation of service to The Bogota Telephone Company was for 50 years, the continuous protests by the rate increases led the Council to decide that the municipality should acquire the Company. Thus, since 1932 the Administration of the city assumed control of the service of phone system and in 1940, by means of agreement 79 of the Council, the Telephone Company of Bogotá was created, a decentralized company and a hundred percent city owned.
In 1961, the company entered into central operations with Usaquén, Bosa, Suba and Central Nariño. At the end of the 70s, the company counted close to 400,000 users and since 1985 that figure has grown to 710,000. The 1990s, marked a time of great change for ETB. The name used for 52 years was modified. In 1992, the company became the Telecommunications Company of Bogotá to adapt with their social objective for diversifying their activities.
The implementation of the norms described by the Decree Law 1900 of 1990 and the Law of Public Utilities of 1994 opened the doors for competition that was consolidated in 1996 when other telecommunications companies appeared. In 1997, the Council authorized the conversion of ETC into an action-based company, having its majority partner in the Capital District of Bogotá. In the middle of 1998, the Council approved the sale of ETB’s shares to an international strategic partner. Although this sale was not carried out, the process let the Company close to 1,000 shareholders among their employees, former employees and pensioners. Thus the company was converted by their shares into a mixed capital company.
On January 20, 1998 ETB converted into a national company. The Ministry of Communications extended a license to operate national and international long distance services. December 16th of that year, the company began offering that new service. In 2000, the company began internet operations under the brand ‘Data Mundo’. In 2001, ETB created the Office of Client Defense and put the brand of ‘Plan de Transformación’ (Transformation Plan) to focus the Company on its clients. In 2002, the plan for modernization of the public telephones in Bogotá began. The goal was to change the 11,000 public telephones that functioned with money for 31,000 phones that operated on prepaid card.
On January 20, 2003 the Ministry of Communications awarded ETB, in conjunction with EPM, the license of PCS, which gave them the possibility of entering into the mobile phone market. The last step in ETB’s transformation process occurred in May 2003 when the company carried out the process of stock democratization that permitted the attainment of resources for 245 billion and linked 61,313 Colombians as investors. In August of 2003, ETB entered into negotiations for the centers of telephone contracts by the way of a commercial alliance with Publicar. In this way, the company ‘Contact Center of the Americas’ was created.
Historical Financial Information
Political and Public Influence
Consumer Protection and Product Safety
Anti-Trust and Tax Practices
Social Responsibility Initiatives
ETB has created many programs to promote and develop social and community management, with attention to extreme cases that generate a poor perception of the ETB’s community management. These programs are run in Bogotá and the surrounding municipals where ETB has a presence. The objective population, sensitive to themes of telecommunications, social control, citizen participation, knowledge of ETB and its productive internet uses, has involved children, teenagers, community leaders, and members of social control, citizens and the elderly. The social programs include:
- Quality to the client: ETB looks to support the establishment of quality culture in the sphere of client services, generating compromises of all areas in which ETB obtains satisfaction of the same.
- ETB participates to transform with organized citizens: ETB expects the strengthening and participation of different communities organized such as JAC, guilds, Chambers of Commerce, of construction and related fields, Youth Counsels, JAL and similar, in order to establish productive relations and to generate a strong sense of membership to ETC, its products and services.
- Participative ties to the members of development and social control: The objective to strengthen and create Committees of Development and Social Control, by the way of different manifestations and space for democratic participation, by means of strategies that include information, formation, reflection, discussion, and knowledge of the telecommunications business, directed by the Committees and members of Social Control.
- Know and enjoy the ETB world: ETB looks to develop in girls and boys democratic forms of thinking, feeling and acting, to encourage identity behavior and a membership facing Bogotá and ETB, by means of a recreational pedagogical knowledge of communications and the services offered by ETB.
- Internet for the communities: By means of this program, ETB gives provisions of telecommunications services for persons with disabilities, youth and communitarian companies, promoting the appropriation of the tool of internet, showing its productive use and its benefits.
- Telecommunications that are massive, social and productive: Expects to impact the improvement of quality of life of the inhabitants of neighborhoods in progressive development, including the respective resolution of legalization by the office of planning, they be rural or urban communities, through the installation of services, they permit access to telecommunications, simulating the productive use of the array of services offered by ETB (information technology and communications) with criteria of efficiency and profitability, raising the infrastructure of an already existing network.
- Productive uses of telecommunications and the culture of payment: Seeks the participation of clients in the social control of service with the formation of conscious citizens who are responsible for the productive use of telecommunications, so that the service becomes a tool of social progress. The methodology includes sensitizing and forming by means of workshops and recreation, in such a way that the elements are generated from the community support of improvement in the quality of life from the perspective of user satisfaction (NSU). 
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