Chile’s parliament has approved a budget of CLP23.72 billion (USD39.8 million) for Sub-Secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) for 2015, an increase of 35.1% year-on-year, Signals Telecom writes. Subtel has been tasked with reducing the digital divide in Chile, as well as: protecting telecoms users; increasing the quality of telecommunications services; encouraging healthy competition to spur the development of the sector; and promoting the development of infrastructure with regard to coverage as well as technological advancement. To that end the regulator already has a number of projects under way, including ‘Todo Chile Conectado’ (All Chile Connected) and ‘Conectividad para la Educacion’ (Connectivity for Education). In the coming year, Subtel is set to auction off spectrum in the 700MHz and 2600MHz bands, the concessions for which will include obligations to cover a number of specific, under-served communities. Also due to launch soon is the ‘Fiber Optic Austral’ (Fibre Optic South) programme, which will see the deployment of a submarine cable linking Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas, via the Aysen and Magallanes regions. Meanwhile, a substantial chunk of the new budget is for the purchase of new radio spectrum monitoring equipment.