Fibre Backbone

Aug 15, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka telecom regulator is evaluating expression of interest from seven investors who responded to a call to build a fibre optic backbone for Sri Lanka in partnership with state rail and power utilities, a top official said.

Pre-qualified parties would be expected to submit applications by the end of the year, he said.

“They have expressed their interest and very soon, before the end of this year, we will issue the documents for them to apply,” director general of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Priyantha Kariyapperuma said.

The pre-qualified bidders would get a chance to apply for national backbone telecommunications services network (NBN) license.

The winner will get a 12.5 million US dollar subsidy from World Bank’s e-Sri Lanka project for the first phase of the project. Under a least cost subsidy incentive, the investor asking for the lowest subsidy will win the license.

Regulator will help the NBN operator strike deals with state-run Sri Lanka Railways and Ceylon Electricity Board to help roll out the fibre backbone.

“But then what we are trying to do here is to use the existing infrastructure in the country like the CEB, Sri Lanka railways and what ever the rather than just br