ARGENTINE: Govt launches USD2bn national broadband, digital TV programme

Argentine newspaper La Nacion reports that President Cristina Kirchner has launched a national connectivity plan to bring broadband access and free digital television to parts of the country not yet served by existing networks. The project, known as ‘Argentina Conectada’, will involve the deployment of a 26,000km backbone by state-owned satellite company Arsat in rural and unprofitable areas to complement the existing infrastructure of the country’s telecoms operators. Planning Minister Julio de Vido said that the first 10,000km of fibre will be rolled out in the most remote parts of Argentina. Also under the plan, the first five of 47 digital TV antennas have been launched in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires and Resistencia in the province of Chaco, with the remaining 42 to be inaugurated by mid-2011, boosting coverage to 75% of the population. The remaining 25% will be covered by satellite TV. The implementation of the Argentina Conectada project will require government investment of around ARS8 billion (USD2.02 billion) over the next three years.

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