SANTIAGO, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Chilean government on Wednesday announced it contracted a feasibility study for a proposed undersea fiber-optic cable to serve as a digital highway between Asia and South America.
A consortium composed of Telecommunications Management Group Inc (TMG) and WFN Strategies LLC won the bid to undertake the study for the Asia-South America digital gateway.
The two U.S. telecoms service companies "have vast experience in carrying out similar studies that have resulted in successful projects," the government said in a statement.
The Chilean Ministry of Transportation and Communications contracted the economic, technical and legal feasibility study for the initiative.
A total of eight national and international companies submitted bids, but the TMG-WFN consortium delivered the most competitive proposal, authorities said.
TMG-WFN will receive over 2.9 million U.S. dollars from the Latin American Development Bank to finance the study.
"Our principal objective is to make Chile a digital hub in Latin America, a region that has great user potential, and the Asia-South America undersea cable will undoubtedly contribute to that," Chilean Minister of Transportation and Communications Gloria Hutt said.
The initiative spearheaded by Chile has received support from Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador.
Once the project is complete, "it will serve as the cornerstone to consolidate local digital economies, and bring benefits to users and all productive sectors," said Pamela Gidi, telecommunications undersecretary at the ministry.
The cable connecting the two continents is estimated to stretch some 24,000 km long.