Mexico's dark fiber auction is open for business

If you're a competitive provider looking for an alternative wholesale capacity route around Mexico's telecom monopoly provider Telmex, your wish may soon come true. Competitive providers can now bid to lease capacity on state-owned power company Comision Federal de Electricidad's (CFE) fiber network.

After hatching plans in May 2009 to offer the fiber infrastructure as a means to encourage competition, the Mexican government will auction off access to two unused pieces of CFE's fiber network that covers about 20,000 km for a 20-year period. These fiber strands will reach into three geographic regions, including Mexico's Pacific coast, the country center, and along the Gulf Coast.

Potential bidders will have to be willing to shell out a minimum of $66 million for the lines. Winners will be announced in June 9, while commercial network operations would begin 18 months after the auction concludes. Bidding for the new fiber will likely be fierce as CFE currently rents capacity to a number of competitive providers such as Alestra, Axtel, Telefonica, B-Tel, Marcatel and Iusatel.

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