National and international telegraphic service is furnished by the government-owned National Telegraph Co. The government also owns and operates the international radiotelegraph and radiotelephone facilities. A privately owned telephone company provides supplemental facilities in outlying areas. The largest utility is the government-owned Telephones of Mexico. The number of mainline telephones in service in 2000 was 12.3 million. In 1998 there were also 2 million cellular phones in use.
The national microwave network, now complete, cost more than P 650 million; facilities by 1968 included the central telecommunications tower in the Federal District and a land station for artificial satellite communications at Tulancingo, Hidalgo, with one of the largest antennas in the world. The network serves most of the country's larger cities.
As of 2000 there were 851 AM and 598 FM radio television stations and 236 television stations. Also in 2000, Mexico had 330 radios and 283 television sets for every 1,000 people. In 2001, 3.42 million Internet subscribers were served by about 51 service providers.
Leading newspapers (with their estimated average daily circulations in 2002) include the following:
|M EXICO C ITY|
|El Diario de Monterrey||80,000|
|El Heraldo de Tampico||95,000|
|El Sol de Tampico||77,000|
|Uno Mas Uno||70,000|
|El Diario de Guadalajara||60,000|
Freedom of the press is guaranteed by law and to a large extent exercised in practice. However, by controlling the supply of newsprint and by providing advertising, indirect subsidies, and outright payoffs to the press, the government exerts an indirect form of press censorship. Mexico's libel and slander laws were made more restrictive in 1982.