The Dominican Republic’s telecoms regulator, Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones (Indotel), has announced plans to invest approximately DOP1.175 billion (USD31.8 million) on 14 initiatives stemming from its ‘Biennial Plan of Development Projects 2009-2011’, DiarioDigital RD reports. The projects that will benefit from the funding include those that will see broadband installed in 100 schools across the country, and the regulator has announced the start of a public consultation process on the proposals. Indotel’s president meanwhile has said that the two-year plan also includes the identification of projects to be implemented by the private sector and funded in part or whole by the Development Fund for Telecommunications (FDT). Jose Rafael Vargas, head of Indotel, said that among the planned initiatives, the most important is the second phase of the Rural Broadband Connectivity project, which will last for two years, and has an estimated budget of DOP157 million. ‘Indotel is proposing to continue the project Rural Broadband Connectivity for the purpose of bringing the rural sector on equal footing with the urban sector in terms of access to Information Society and Communication, using a policy inclusion by the conviction that telecommunications are essential for achieving inclusion and development of these communities until now neglected and marginalized,’ said Vargas. Other planned schemes include the roll out of fibre-optic networks in unserved regions, alongside the development of Wi-Fi networks for access in public places and projects for training information and communication technology (ICT), including Community Technology Centres (CTC).