Telebras to expand PNBL coverage to Manaus

16 Jan 2013

Brazilian state-controlled telecoms group Telecomunicacoes Brasileiras (Telebras) has signed a contract to extend the coverage of the country’s national broadband network (Plano Nacional de Banda Larga, PNBL) to Manaus, the state capital of Amazonas – one of the host cities for the FIFA 2014 football World Cup. In a statement, the carrier said that the terms of the deal between it and Manaus free trade zone management organisation Suframa, has been published in the federal gazette Diario Oficial da Uniao, enabling privately owned operators to supply a minimum 1Mbps broadband connection to consumers for BRL35 (USD17.1) a month – or BRL29.90 per month in areas that have agreed to waive the interstate sales tax (ICMS) – as per the terms of the PNBL project. The decision to expand the PNBL into the northern reaches of Brazil is a strategic move by the federal government, which is seeking to better connect a remote part of the country. BNAmericas writes that to achieve its goal in Amazonas, Telebras has already signed contracts with data processing firm Dados Amazonas (for fibre-optic activation), and with radio and TV network Rede Amazonica de Radio e Televisao (to implement the PNBL in the western Amazonas region and neighbouring state Amapa). Separately, in October last year Telebras and TIM Brasil also signed a fibre-optic infrastructure swap deal – again focused on the north and north-eastern regions.