Venezuelan telecoms regulator Conatel plans to invest USD100 million in a bid to raise internet and fixed line penetration by adding 775,000 new lines and 500,000 new internet users in the next three years, according to BNamericas. Conatel’s goal is to increase the country’s total internet user base to four million users, as part of expansion plans funded by its USD160 million Universal Service Fund budget. The project includes the deployment of 200 internet nodes in southern and eastern provinces which, according to the regulator, are the regions with the lowest coverage. Conatel will launch a tender to select a company to take charge of interconnecting small local ISP cooperatives; incumbent fixed line operator CANTV is barred from participating in the tender. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, at the end of 2005 Venezuela had 3.65 million fixed lines in service and 572,000 broadband internet subscribers.