Colombia’s ICT Ministry announced that four firms have submitted bid proposals for the country’s National Fiber Optic Project. The Temporary Union Colombian Fiber Optic (which comprises the firms total play and TV Azteca), Telmex Colombia SA, Temporary Union Connectivity for All (Media Commerce Partners, ZTE Corp. Colombia branch, EXICOM INC, and ANDITEL SA) and Temporary Union Telefonica (Colombia Telecommunications SA and Telefonica Mobiles) will compete to win a place on the project, which will aim to expand Colombia’s fiber footprint to at least 400 new municipalities.
The ICT Ministry expects to award contracts for the project beginning November 4.
The Colombian Government plans to allocate $415,837 million COP (US $218 million) for the public-private partnership. The fiber-optic network expansion project aims to expand the number of broadband connections from the present 2.2 million to 8.8 million by 2014. Fiber-based broadband currently is available in 325 municipalities, according to the ministry.
The National Fiber Optic Project, managed by the Social Program Compartel of the ICT Ministry, is expected to take 30 months to complete, with an initial goal that at least 120 municipalities will receive new fiber-optic service by the end of next year.