Chile moves forward with the ‘Fibra Optica Nacional’ plan

Chilean Telecommunications Subsecretary (Subtel) has officially announced this last Wednesday that it had called for a public tender to assign the so-called ‘Macrozona Sur’ of the ‘Fibra Optica Nacional’ project (FON), an initiative announced in May, whose purpose is to deploy 10 thousand FTTH kilometers throughout Chile.

According to Subtel, those interested in the project, which includes the Chilean regions of La Araucania, Los Rios and Los Lagos, will be able to submit their requests on Subtel’s website until January 18th, 2021. Later, Subtel will evaluate the offers and will announce the most appropriate  in March next year.

‘The FON project will allow us to reduce the painful and unfair digital divide that exists in the country, since it will benefit 186 communes, from Arica to Puerto Montt, of which 43 are in the regions contemplated in the Macrozona Sur. For this reason, at Subtel we have worked hard to move it forward and put it into operation as soon as possible’, explained Pamela Gidi, Telecommunications Vice Minister in Chile. ‘We know that digital connectivity is essential, especially in times like the ones we are facing, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. For this reason, it is necessary for this project to benefit more citizens every day. This way, within the 5G bidding rules, we decided to include the so-called social considerations, which will allow connecting 366 localities throughout Chile with high-speed and high-capacity mobile internet, of which 116 are in the regions of La Araucania, Los Rios and Los Lagos’, she added.

Last April, Subtel awarded the Chilean mobile operator Wom five of the six zones of the ‘FON’ project: ‘Macrozona Arica y Parinacota’ (Arica and Parinacota Region); ‘Macrozona Norte’ (Antofagasta and Atacama regions); ‘Macrozona Centro Norte’ (Coquimbo, Valparaíso and Region Metropolitana regions; ‘Macrozona Centro’ (regions of O’Higgins and Maule); and ‘Macrozona Centro Sur’ (regions of Ñuble and Biobio). It is estimated that the network will be ready in 2022. A total of CH $ 86 million (USD 111.4 thousand) was allocated for the project.