latest news about Xarxa Oberta

After the very busy last weeks, I will try to come back again with the aim of publishing at least one post per week. It should not be that difficult…

Anyway, after our last post, the situation about the most important project that is being discussed in Catalona, Xarxa Oberta, is somehow controversial and has surpassed the technical interest to become also (and mainly) a political instrument.

Anyhow, the project seems to be in the very last stage, for good of for bad, as it is now just pending on the political approval. If the project goes ahead, then the tender will be released so the three players can prepare their reply and bid. If the project does not get the political approval, then we will not have an open access operator and fibre for decades… just depending on the business strategy of Telefonica, which by the way, seems to be interested in re-starting their FTTH pilots.

It is also very interesting the analysis of what will happen with the three companies that started the competitive dialogue:

  • Abertis is in between a sharing exchange of the two majority shareholders (La Caixa and ACS) to increase the control of the company. This may reduce their interest and their financial position in the project.
  • Telefonica is in a good finantial position, but people will not understand that Telefonica gets a project that has been developed to create a competitive environment agaist their lack of investment on broadband and FTTH.
  • Mediapro/AXIA is becoming a good alternative, although Mediapro was fined with 100MEUR due to the open war with Audiovisual Sport for the management of the rights of football.

Together with all this, and as here in Catalonia we want to fight for what we believe it is right, several associations, companies and institutions are signing an open manifesto to support the project. This was initially promoted by the Technical Engineers Telecom Association (COETTC) and will be presented to our politicians during the next days…

So, within the next couple of weeks, before August for sure, we will know whether the Xarxa Oberta project moves forward or is set on-hold, meaning this second option very bad news for all of us, who believe that this project is a very good paradigm of the transformation process that is required to overcome the difficult ecomonic situation that is affecting our country during the last couple of years.

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