Colombian fixed line telcos ETB, EPM and Telesociada Metrotel have presented offers to the government to buy liquidated Barranquilla-based operator EDT, reports BNamericas. EDT has been run by five state institutions under the name Batelsa since May 2004, and had over 125,000 subscribers, with 130,000 installed lines, at the end of June 2005. The government wants to auction the operator by the end of the year to one of the three pre-selected bidders, and has set a starting price of USD89 million. ETB and EPM have been analysing Batelsa’s financial and operational status, while Metrotel is carrying out a due diligence study in partnership with its part-owner, state-run operator Colombia Telecom. Metrotel, the last of Telecom’s regional local telephony partnerships – Telesociadas – to remain independent, has steadily expanded its fixed line network, and now offers a full range of local telephony and data services in Prado, San Vicente, Tres Avemarías, Centro, Andes, Malambo, Buenos Aires (Colombia), Simón Bolívar and Pimsa.