Yesterday, 8th Feb 2010, it was presented to telecom professionals the Xarxa Oberta project. This project aims to connect all the municipalities from Catalonia: 946. The first stage will be to connect 281 municipalities; within those 281 municipalities are included all the municipalities near to the deployment of fibre.
The project tries to give a new step in fibre deployments in Catalonia, from both, public and private sector. The initial scope is to interconnect all the municipalities and resell the excess of capacity to alternative operators. This second use, however, is waiting for the Europeean Commission approval to offer this as market number 4 (offer infrastructures like dark fibre). If they are allowed to sell capacity, or a lambda, to each operator that asks to carry his information through this network, we will have a great improvement in our little country.
If everything goes right, Xarxa Oberta will allow to any operator to deploy FTTH in any rural area that can be of interest, offering a decent backbone and easy interconnection to a POP.
At the same time, it will reduce the digital gap from those cities and villages that where difficult to connect due to the lack of a fibre backbone.
Thus, the potential number of users is going to increase. Main example are companies and industrial areas, which will have the entire country to choose the best place to settle their headquarters. They will have a good bandwidth connection, and they will only have to worry about railway or highway connections, because they will have granted a connectivity that can supports their downstream demand, and more important, their upstream requirements, opening new business models.
The project shown yesterday will be awarded before August. It contemplates that up to three different applicants for the project shall be admitted. After that, they will entry in open talks with them, those discussions will last one month, and finally, will be awarded to the best of the three.
Then, we will have a huge new project to implement that will involve many telecom companies in Catalonia. We must think that nearly 72% of the total budget will be dedicated to civil works, so not only telecom companies will be the main benneficiares.
Finally, it shall be introduced the main different parts that will be managing and implementing it:
ITCAT, a consortium created with 60% from Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan govenrment) and 40% from the consortium Localret (Local municipalities), will be coordinating the fibre project, and will search new possibilities for fibre in Catalonia. (This would be the head)
GIT, it is the entity that will become the installer and operator of the Catalan network. It has to be elected before August, and will receive the concession of operating it at least for the next 20 years and up to 30 years as a maximum. (These are going to be the NEUTRAL hands and legs)
On September we will have more clear how it will be executed, but now, it starts all the process of selection for a new management and operation of the “neutral/open” network.
Good luck with this beautiful project.
More details at: http://www.gencat.cat/governacio-ap/stsi/xarxaoberta