Argentine state-owned satellite company ARSAT has said it has opened a tender for the extension of the national Refefo fibre optic network at border crossings. Offers have to be supplied by 17 November.
The Federal Fibre Optic Network (aka Refefo) was launched in 2010 as a network able to serve both public institutions and retail ICT service providers. It would, the government hoped, bridge the digital divide between large urban centres and smaller towns throughout the country. It is still being built out.
In this case the work being offered involves laying 48-fibre optic cable, which must be underground.
There are eight crossings: La Quiaca (about 1.4 kilometres) and Salvador Mazza (0.05 kilometres) on the border with Bolivia; Uspallata (0.8 kilometres) on the border with Chile; Bernardo de Irigoyen (0.42 kilometres) and Paso de Los Libres (0.15 kilometres) on the border with Brazil; Puerto Iguazú (0.8 kilometres) on the borders of Brazil and Paraguay; and Posadas (2.3 kilometres) and Clorinda (0.1 kilometres) on the border with Paraguay.
The BNamericas news service reports that in May, the Argentinian regulator Enacom approved a programme to provide connectivity to border crossings for 1.5 billion pesos (about US$ 9.5 million).
In addition, and as we reported at the time, Refefo was a beneficiary when, late last year, the Inter-AmericanDevelopment Bank (IDB), approved a $100 million loan for a programme to promote internet access anddigitization in Argentina.
The Programme for the Development of Refefo will finance the expansion and equipping of infrastructure toconnect 258 localities in remote areas with fibre optics.