Partnerships that expand connectivity

- 21/06/2016

Even for countries considered developed, to have and expand the telecommunications infrastructure poses a challenge, because to pass optical fibers through a site may involve local governments, states, and power, water and sewer utilities. That is, various entities have rights of way, a concept that was born with the necessity to drain water through private properties to benefit society.

“This makes it urgent to establish partnerships, to ensure that infrastructure for communications reaches a reasonable cost, reusing cables and ducts that were already passed”, Eduardo Grizendi, director of Engineering and Operations at RNP, explains.

For this reason, RNP took part, in 2009, in the group that defined the actions of the National Broadband Plan (in Portuguese, PNBL), which pointed towards the need for regulatory actions that induce to the expansion of telecommunications network. “The ideal is that the infrastructure construction standards make the availability of communication networks expand, for the provision of broadband”, Grizendi states. He believes “this deployment must be done when implementing large infrastructure works (highways, railways, pipelines, power transmission networks, among others), to ensure the construction and its sharing between the telecommunication service providers”, he says.

According to the director, who also was, for years, a professor at the National Institute of Telecommunications (Inatel), “the use of an optical fiber in a highway by a telecommunications provider or operator gives it the possibility to interconnect the cities covered by the route of the highway, complete the scheme of regional links and, thus, promote a good national broadband service”.

The Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications (ANTT) has established that the new concessions must deploy optical routes at highways and grand optical fiber cables to Empresa Planejamento e Logística (EPL), the state logistics and planning company. RNP has a cooperation agreement with EPL so that some fiber pairs are dedicated to teaching, research, health, culture and defense, comprising the academic network.  

“Law No. 13.116, from April 20, 2015, is also an important milestone, because it states the necessity for a specific legislation so the construction of a public or private building intended for collective use is made with ducts and passage boxes for optical cables and fibers, for example. This type of regulation brings us closer to economically stronger countries, where any original infrastructure already has technical conditions for telecommunication operators to constantly improve the provision of their services”, Grizendi believes. He adds that “abroad, investments are made with a vision of long term returns, and this reflects in the price for internet hiring, more attractive, pointing towards a longer pay back for operators and service providers”.  

Even before this regulatory path began to establish itself in Brazil, RNP already saw the importance of working along with other organizations, with fiber sharing. An example is the Research and Education Community Networks (Redecomep), which already has approximately 40 metropolitan optical networks deployed in the capitals and in various cities within the country, aiming to improve internet access. “One of the metropolitan networks, Redecomep Rio, is a case of success in the collaboration between City Hall and utilities, such as SuperVia, Metrô Rio, Light and the Lamsa. RNP used the existing infrastructure of ducts and plumbing and granted fibers in return, which resulted in a network of approximately 350 km of optical fibers, passed subterraneously, which benefits over 80 points, among universities, hospitals, schools and research centers”, he states.

“Time is the issue. Redecomep Rio took seven years to be launched, exactly due to all the negotiation with partners. With the development of facilities, such as laws and regulations on the subject, this time may be shortened, which shall help to connect the country, more and in a better way”, the director adds.

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