Chilean telecommunications watchdog Subtel announced a search for partners to finance a project to lay subsea fibre optic cables to connect South America to the Asia-Pacific region.
In a translated statement, Subtel said state-owned company Desarrollo Pais (formerly the Infrastructure Fund) will take charge in searching of financiers for the project.
Construction is expected to begin in 2022 with an estimated 13,180km of cable needed to be laid. The route will begin in the port city of Valparaiso, pass through Auckland and end in Sydney.
General manager of Country Development, Patricio Rey, explained: "We want to carry out a very transparent process that allows us to find partners so that later we can define our business model."
“Although this digital highway begins in Chile, our country will be the gateway for the rest of South America. This is very relevant since its operation will coincide when 5G technology begins its massification and, with it, data traffic increases exponentially both nationally and regionally,” added Undersecretary of Telecommunications Pamela Gidi.
Reports of the subsea cable project surfaced in July this year, with the original proposal for a cable between Chile and China. But it seems the Asian country was snubbed, due to pressure from the US lobbying against the plan.