President Andrés Manuel López-Obrador announced, in his morning press conference today, his decision to suspend the fiber optic Trunk Network public tender proceeding, the second most important telecommunication project of the former administration and expected to be put out to tender in February 2019.

López-Obrador explained that the bidding rules for the tender are to be amended to launch a new tender process to award a bit more than 25,306 kilometers of fiber optic for the Federal Electricity Commission. It is foreseen that this will be the backbone of a data transportation network to provide broadband services. Lopez-Obrador stated that the new bidding rules will be ready by mid-February.

The purpose will be to connect the entire country. He explained that the telecommunications reform has not solved the connectivity problem, since currently only 25% of Mexico has connectivity.

As consideration for the tender, the company or companies awarded the concession will have to provide free Internet service on highways and in public squares, schools, and hospitals and assign resources to maintain the facilities. In addition, coverage obligations will be set out for the purpose of connecting the entire country.