Since nationalization of the International Telephone Co. in 1947, a government monopoly, the National Telecommunications Administration (Administración Nacional de Telecommunicaciones—ANTELCO), has controlled the communications system. As of 2001 there were 290,475 mainline telephones in use, most of them in Asunción. The same year, there were an additional 510,000 cellular phones in use. ANTELCO operates the national telegraph system; telephone, telex, and cable links have been established with most other countries.
There were 46 AM and 27 FM radio stations in Paraguay as of 1998, including the official stations, Radio Nacional of Asunción and Radio Encarnación, and the Catholic Radio Caritas. Paraguay had four television stations in 2001. In 2000, there were 182 radios and 218 television sets for every 1,000 people. The same year, four Internet service providers were serving 20,000 subscribers.
There were five major daily papers in circulation in 2002. Newspaper readership in Paraguay is among the lowest in Latin America. Patria (circulation 8,000 in 2002), founded in 1946, is the voice of the Colorado Party. Diario Hoy began publication in 1967 and in 2002 had an estimated circulation of 125,000; the circulation of Ultima Hora, founded in 1973, was 45,000. Noticias had a circulation of 55,000 and ABC Color had a circulation of 75,000.
At present, the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and the press is said to be respected by the government to a greater degree than any time in the country's recent history. An increasing amount of the media is independently owned.