Peru’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones, MTC) has announced that the National Fibre Optic Backbone (Red Dorsal Nacional de Fibra Optica, RDNFO) will be used to carry data traffic from public institutions to relieve congestion on other networks. The MTC notes that the measure will help address the sudden increase in demand for internet services due to the coronavirus pandemic and the associated rise in remote work and education. Any additional costs of using the RDNFO will be borne by the MTC via the National Telecommunications Progamme (Programa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, PRONATEL). In addition, PRONATEL will verify that contracted capacity on the RDNFO is used exclusively for public entities.
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the RDNFO has been under-utilised since its completion in mid-2016, with inflexible rules on its management blamed for excessive pricing of capacity and the subsequent proliferation of privately-owned fibre networks. A decree was passed earlier this year amending the relevant 2012 legislation and providing the RDNFO operator – Azteca Communications – with greater commercial flexibility regarding service provision and price setting.
In a related development, meanwhile, TeleSemana writes that the Peruvian government has empowered the MTC to grant temporary spectrum concessions to operators to ensure service continuity and quality. No fees will be charged for the additional spectrum, which will be licensed for a period of six months, renewable for a further six months. Similarly, sector regulator the Supervisory Agency for Private Investment in Telecommunications (Organismo Supervisor de Inversion Privada en Telecommuniciones, Osiptel), has announced that it has extended rules that bar operators from suspending telecom services for lack of payment until 24 May 2020.