Lack of electricity hindering operation of fiber optic network

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mexican state power company CFE is unable to provide the power services that Grupo de Telecomunicaciones de Alta Capacidad (GTAC) needs to launch the offer of its fiber optic network, local cable operator association Canitec president Alejandro Puente was quoted as saying in press reports.

A month and a half after finishing building the network, the consortium has been unable to start offering the services it committed to.

The network's launch was originally scheduled for August this year.

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Mexico's transport and communications ministry (SCT) awarded in June 2010 a 20-year concession contract to the consortium - comprising Spanish telco Telefónica (NYSE: TEF), Mexican broadcast giant Televisa and cable operator Megacable - which presented the only bid, for 884mn pesos (US$65.2mn).

The consortium is in charge of a dark fiber pair of 19,457km in cabling and is expected to provide some welcome competition in data and fixed-line transport, which to date has been dominated by Telmex (NYSE: TMX).

According to Puente, the problem has been raised with SCT to urge CFE to provide the services needed. Otherwise, the issue will be taken directly to President Felipe Calderón.