Telebrás asks congress to free financial resources to face PNBL requirements

Friday, April 29, 2011

Brazilian state-run telecoms firm Telebrás lacks sufficient financial resources to face requirements under the country's national broadband program, dubbed PNBL, local press reported company president Rogério Santanna as saying.

According to Santanna, Telebrás has already signed contracts worth 207mn reais (US$132mn) with Brazilian providers.

The executive said the operator asked congress for 600mn reais last year. However, parliament only approved 316mn reais, and funds have yet to be released. For 2011, Telebrás requested a total of 400mn reais, but congress approved 226mn reais, and only 50mn reais have been freed.

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Santanna added that Telebrás' current financial resources reach 280mn reais, according to the report.

The PNBL contracts awarded by Telebrás so far include equipment and services in fiber optic transmissions, points of presence infrastructure, core and edge IP network, poles and acquisition of sites where Telebrás plans to install stations.

The cost of providing high-speed internet access to more than 1,100 Brazilian cities had been estimated at 1bn reais. However, in January, as part of President Dilma Rousseff's pledge to bring austerity to Brasília, the budget was cut by about 400mn reais.