AMMAN — A new tender will be floated soon to complete the implementation of the National Broadband Network project, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT).
"We are waiting for the Cabinet's approval to float a new tender. Upon its approval, we will prepare all the required documents. We expected to offer the tender in the third quarter of this year," MoICT Spokesperson Haitham Qaisi told The Jordan Times on Monday.
The MoICT, which announced in June that it was studying bids submitted by four international companies — Cisco, HP, Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent — wants to attract more international companies to complete the project, he said.
"The government wanted to complete the project on its own but could not because of the lack of funds. We called on the private sector companies to contribute to establishing a firm to complete the project but they did not submit requests to officially form such a company," Qaisi added.
In February this year, the government announced that it would establish a company to complete the implementation of the network, work on which was halted in 2008 when the Kingdom was affected by the global financial crisis.
In April, the MoICT gave mobile operators and Internet service providers one month to officially apply to be partners in the projected company.
Several companies showed interest in having a stake in the company, but no requests were officially submitted to the ministry, Qaisi said at the time.
According to the ministry, about 35 per cent of the project has been completed so far at a total cost of $36 million.
Work on the project started in 2003 with the aim of connecting all public schools and universities to a nationwide fibre optic network.
The project was expanded in 2007 to include government agencies, healthcare centres and hospitals.
Once the project is completed, residents of rural areas will have access to the Internet at schools connected to the network.