Antonio Casares is a Partner, Eurídice Palma and Jorge Aviles are Associates in Holland & Knight's Mexico City office.

The Mexican government agency, Telecomm, on July 17, 2017, released the general criteria for a potential bid for the development and expansion of the Backbone Network Project (Red Troncal).

Telecomm's purpose with the release of the general criteria is to receive feedback from all interested parties on this project such as telecomm operators, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), investors, equipment providers, education organizations, industry chambers and associations.

In May 2017, Telecomm issued an international Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) to participate on the Backbone Network Project and received 24 RFEIs from national and foreign companies (See Holland & Knight alert, "Mexican Agency Seeks Interested Parties for Backbone Network Project," May 16, 2017).

The Backbone Network Project's objective is to build a robust national fiber-optic backbone network over the existing infrastructure from Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the country's electric utility organization. In addition, the project will allow access to indefeasible rights of use to a pair of dark fiber-optic strands along the CFE's fiber-optic network and access to use related passive infrastructure of CFE.

The Mexican government's purpose with the Backbone Network Project is to 1) support the development of broadband telecommunications services to regional concessionaires and licensed resellers which require high-capacity and long-distance data transport services to provide a wider assortment of broadband-access services, 2) promote competition in locations served by only one fiber-optic operator and 3) promote services in locations that are unserved.

The deadline for receiving comments on the general criteria is July 31, 2017. Telecomm may use the observations received for the preparation of a possible public tender (PT).

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