Xarxa Oberta last change

The Xarxa Oberta project is one of those projects you never know how will end up. It started several years ago, has changed several times during the process and now seems to be in its final stage of definition.

I have written several posts about this project, specially when the Catalan government started the competitive dialogue process. Three companies applied to the tender: Abertis, Telefonica and Mediapro/AXIA.

Now, the project has suffered a new turn and due to the economic situation, has been reshaped in extension and budget. The catalan government has decided to release now just a pilot in a region of the south of Catalonia: Terres de l’Ebre and the budget has been reduced from the initial 662M EUR to less than 70M EUR.

The position of the Government is that first of all they want to try the model, but I think that there are also political pressures involved…

Anyway, now we see how the three bidders react to this new scenario:
  • Abertis said on Monday that they were not interested in such a small project that that they were unsure whether to participate in this second part of the competitive dialogue.
  • Telefonica is in a strange position because the tender asks for the bidder to give the infrastructure to the Government once the project is finished and they do not want to do that…
  • Finally, there are no public news about Mediapro/AXIA so we have to wait until the competitive dialogue finishes to see their position.

Xarxa Oberta is a strategic project for Catalonia and it is a pity that just a trial is released in a small area of the country. Terres de l’Ebre is underserved so the project will help the region to boost their economy.

However, what happens with the rest of the territory? We all need high-speed connections… specially in the rural areas. Telefonica announced that they want to massively deploy FTTH but I am unsure about those plans will become real before well entered 2011. In the meantime, xDSL and cable, and upstreams of less that 1Mbps…

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3 thoughts on “Xarxa Oberta last change

  1. Same electorial forces in Australia where an originally planned AUD 43 Billion is now heavily debated and a AUD 6 Billion is opted as alternative. The discussions can be followed, e.g. in The Australian. One rejecting the plan is the following based on 7 reasons:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/seven-reasons-why-the-nbn-will-fail/story-e6frgd0x-1225906080793

    The debater is mixing politics, commercial interests and technical data to appear strong in his debate. His comment on the DOCSIS speeds are not realistic though.

    My opinion is, an FTTH advocate will be able to a better argumentation why a country does need to be massively connected to FTTH and why not to invest anymore in improving copper. The electorate need to be convinced of the vision and to get rid of the idea of short-term commercial interests. But in times of financial crisis, such big investments are an easy target for the opposition..

  2. Hi Bas,

    There are many people criticizing the deployment of fiber broadband infrastructures that do not know what transsector benefits of deploying such infrastructures are, or simply do not care about them.

    “If you believe that excellence is expensive, wait until you get the bill for mediocrity ”

    source: UCLA Alumni, posted by Enrique Dans
    http://tinyurl.com/37unor4

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