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Mexico's TV Azteca to build, operate fiber optic network in Peru

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[December 26, 2013]  MEXICO CITY (Reuters)  Mexico's second-biggest broadcaster, TV Azteca, said on Monday it had won a contract to build and operate a fiber optic network in Peru that will cover about 80 percent of the Andean nation, the company said in a statement.

Construction of the network, which will extend about 13,400 kilometers (8,300 miles), will begin in early 2014 and will take about two years to complete, the statement said.

A Peruvian official said the government will spend up to $333.2 million on the project.

A spokesman for TV Azteca, however, said the project will cost the government about $760 million over its 20 year life.

Carlos Paredes, Peru's transportation and communications minister, said in a statement that the network will cut Internet connection costs in the country by up to 80 percent.

TV Azteca, is controlled by billionaire businessman Ricardo Salinas, is currently building a fiber optic network in Colombia, the statement added.

TV Azteca and its main competitor, Televisa, together have a 95 percent share of Mexico's broadcast television market.

TV Azteca shares closed up 0.92 percent at 6.59 pesos per share after the news.

The government earlier this year passed a sweeping overhaul of the telecommunications industry that aims to bolster competition in both the phone and TV markets.

(Reporting by Tomas Sarmiento and Alexandra Alper in Mexico City, and Marco Aquino and Patricia Velez in Lima; editing by Bernadette Baum and Ken Wills)

[ 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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