Govt takes reins of Peru's fiber backbone, giving up on private operator

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Govt takes reins of Peru's fiber backbone, giving up on private operator

The Peruvian government has decided to operate the national fiber network backbone (RDNFO) itself rather than contracting a private operator to manage it.

The decision was announced late on Tuesday by deputy communications minister Virgilio Tito Chura. 

According to Tito Chura, the transport and communications ministry (MTC), through the national telecoms program Pronatel, will remain in charge of RDNFO for the next three years.

Pronatel has been operating the network since a contract with Mexican company Azteca was terminated last year.

"It has been deemed appropriate to cancel the process to contract an operator to provide the service for a period of three years, until further notice, and have Pronatel continue to operate it," MTC said in a statement.

The ministry added that the government would continue its efforts toward "diligent and efficient transition of the national fiber optic backbone network.”

In May, Peru announced the suspension of a tender to select a new operator, arguing that none of the interested bidders complied with the proposed terms. 

That decision was announced by new transport and communications minister Juan Barranzuela, named by President Pedro Castillo to replace Nicolás Bustamante. 

Bustamante had held the post since February, when former minister Juan Silva resigned after being accused of interfering in the process to hand over the operation of the RDNFO to one of the bidders. 

Days after suspension of the tender, Pronatel announced it would launch a new process with redrafted terms

Those changes included stipulating that the contract would no longer be limited to northern, central and southern areas of the country, but rather to nine regions at “the national level.”

The government also removed the obligation for the contractor to establish a trust that would allow companies not established in the country to form partnerships with national operators to bid for the contract.

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