Dec 16, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog Telekom, India’s Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Sweden’s Ericsson, are among the firms in the running to get a fibre optic backbone for the island, an official said. “We are hoping to award the deal by April 2010,” director general of Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Priyantha Kariyapperuma said.
TRC is now evaluating expressions of interest received from a number of companies. The qualified companies will be issued detailed documents early next year, to submit the final bid.
Kariyapperuma said the project may cost about 150 million US dollars and was a vital link in building fibre to the home (FTTH) facilities in the island.
The winning firm will also get a 12.5 million US dollars subsidy from the World Bank’s e-Sri Lanka project.
Sri Lanka Telecom, a company in which Malaysia’s Maxis has a large stake, already has fibre optic infrastructure. Dialog Telekon, a unit of Malaysia’s Axiata, also has fibre.
The national backbone operators will also be allowed to piggy-back on the Ceylon Electricity Board power distribution network and Sri Lanka Railways routes.
“We will have to regulate the pricing so tha