UPDATE 2-Mexico's TV Azteca to build, operate fiber optic network in Peru

Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:34pm EST

MEXICO CITY Dec 23 (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.