Tenders invited for Chilean fibre project

Tenders invited for Chilean fibre project

Subtel, the Chilean telecommunications regulator, has issued two calls for tenders for extensions to its southern fibre network.

The US$100 million network, known as Fibra Optica Austral, will bring much needed advanced telecommunications to the Patagonian region of Chile. The latest tenders are for almost 4,000km of fibre optic infrastructure covering two terrestrial sections in Los Lagos and Aysen. The contracts for the work will be placed in July with completion deadlines of 22 to 24 months.

The new tender call is in addition to the award of the Austral Submarine Trunk to the company Communication and Rural Telephony (CTR), and the Magallanes Terrestrial Trunk, to the company Conductividad Austral Ltda, which were approved by the Council of Development of Telecommunications, CDT, in October 2017.

These contracts install a 3,000km submarine cable from Puerto Montt to Puerto Williams with landings at Caleta Tortel and Punta Arenas plus a land-based stretch from Puerto Natales to Porvenir in Magallanes.

At the time of this award, the Telecommunications Development Council, in addition to approving the tender for the underwater section and the Magallanes terrestrial section, concluded that the proposals submitted by the different bidders did not meet the technical requirements and chose to make a new call for the land sections of Los Lagos and Aysén.

"Today has been published in the Official Gazette the call for tenders for the land sections of Aysén and Los Lagos of the Fiber Optic Austral project. With this we have closed all projects committed by the Government of President Michelle Bachelet, "said Undersecretary of Telecommunications, Rodrigo Ramírez Pino, on Monday.

"The deployment of digital infrastructure in the extreme south of the country will give Chile a strategic autonomy, it will materialize and make real the aspiration of digital integration for the more than 300,000 Chileans who inhabit Patagonia and it will put our country in conditions optimal to become the Digital Hub of the Southern Cone," added the head of Subtel.

Among the main features of the new official announcement this Monday for the land sections of the regions of Los Lagos and Aysén, are the increase of 20% of the maximum subsidy available for each trunk optical infrastructure, compared to the previous competition, plus of a reduction of at least 50% in the commercial tariff of the terrestrial optical channel for projects approved by the CDT.

The new tender maintains the requirement that the deployment of infrastructure must have 15% of the total terrestrial optical channels for the service and exclusive use of public agencies, which will ensure the implementation of development plans and implementation of public policies in the different social areas necessary for the development of the area and the social welfare of its inhabitants.

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