Jesse Chacón, Venezuela’s telecoms minister, has announced that the government plans to interconnect incumbent telco CANTV’s fibre-optic network with other existing fibre networks in the country, reports BNamericas. The move was recently approved by President Hugo Chávez, Chacón said, adding that it will be implemented once the government takes full control of the telco on 21 May when a new company board is due to be elected. Under the plan, CANTV’s network will expand to 15,000km by the end of the year from 7,000km today, taking into account networks owned by utility companies Edelca (part owner of telco CVG Telecom), Cadafe and EDC. Chacón also said CANTV’s 100%-owned mobile unit Movilnet is expected to start providing GSM mobile services by the end of 2007 as the government recently concluded the process to select GSM technology providers. Up until now it has concentrated on CDMA-based services. The government now has an 86.2% share of CANTV after the close of its share offer on the New York and Caracas stock exchange on 9 May.