Romania’s telecoms regulator the ANRC has received bids from eight firms which are interested in setting up rural telecentres. The regulator is seeking operators for 123 telecentres, which give local residents access to national and international long-distance, internet, e-mail and fax services which they otherwise would not be able to use. Eight firms – Orange Romania, Vodafone Romania, 2K Telecom, TV Adler Trading, Celesta, Rartel, Sensolink and the National Radiocommunications Company – have submitted bids. The winners will be chosen on a combination of points, including their financial proposals, their telecoms background and their plans to provide additional services. The costs of setting up the telecentre will come from Romania’s Universal Service Fund, to which telecoms operators contribute a slice of their earnings to pay for the provision of services in underserved areas. This is the ANRC’s fourth tender for rural telecentres. It has previously allocated 208 contracts; 86 of these are already in operation, with the remaining 122 expected to enter service by the end of this year.