Chilean watchdog the Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) and the Ministry of National Assets have signed an agreement to work together to facilitate the deployment of telecoms infrastructure on government-owned land. Under the agreement, the Ministry of National Assets will provide Subtel with information on the bidding and leasing processes for sites that telcos will be allowed to use for the deployment of infrastructure. These sites are expected to include land for the installation of fibre-optic cabling and telecom towers, as well as government buildings that can be used to host cell sites. The cooperation agreement was developed as part of a framework to improve connectivity in Puerto Williams, a town in the extreme south of the country; around 90% of the land in Puerto Williams is state-owned.
Undersecretary of Telecommunications Pamela Gidi said of the agreement: ‘Having the support of the Ministry of National Assets to encourage the deployment of telecommunications networks confirms the commitment of our government to find formulas that seek to bring the benefits of digital connectivity to all places in Chile. Today we are in Puerto Williams making this announcement, as this location will be crucial for the submarine laying of the Southern Optical Fibre and that will undoubtedly be the digital door for all the inhabitants of this extreme region to enter the digital society. That a person today cannot count on the internet, is to restrict their quality of life [and] put barriers to their educational or professional development, and under our government, our task is to reverse that digital marginality.’