Brazil's communications ministry approves Telebras' projects for satellite control stations

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Brazil's communications ministry (MinCom) has approved two projects to deploy terrestrial satellite control stations by state-run telco Telebras under a tax exemption program, local press reported.

The total value of the two projects is 259mn reais (US$111mn) and includes the deployment of a satellite station in capital Brasília and Rio de Janeiro.

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These two stations will control the country's satellite which is expected to be launched in 2016, according to the report. The satellite will be developed by a JV between Telebras and compatriot firm Embraer.

In September, Telebras became the first company to have a project included in REPNBL, a special tax exemption created in February for telecoms infrastructure projects under the national broadband plan PNBL.

Despite its name, REPNBL is not restricted only to the PNBL, but seeks to promote the deployment, expansion and modernization of the different forms of telecoms infrastructure that support broadband internet. REPNBL exempts companies from the PIS/Pasep and Cofins social welfare taxes.

The project is for a fiber optics backbone deployment to run from Campo Mourão, in Paraná state, to Mato Grosso state capital Cuiabá, crossing parts of Mato Grosso do Sul state. The project budget is 6mn reais and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Deployment work began on August 20.

MiniCom has already reportedly approved several projects under REPNBL. Telebras alone is said to have submitted hundreds of proposals.

After complaints of short notice from interested companies, Brazil's congress approved the extension of the deadline for companies to submit their projects to REPNBL by a year to June 30, 2014.