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A fiber optic highway that changed the lives of thousands of people 

about the company

In 2019, the Chilean government set out to generate high-speed networks to ensure the connectivity of the inhabitants of the entire national territory. As part of this initiative, the Undersecretary of Telecommunications (which depends on the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications) launched the tender for a project called Fibra Óptica Nacional (FON), which aimed to cover a connectivity line from the Arica region to the of the Bio Bio. This route represented a total of 7,500 kilometers of underground and aerial fiber optics.

“Deploying high-speed networks is essential for the connectivity challenges that the country presents. In turn, this technology is enabling for the development of the new 5G network and essential to incorporate new applications linked to the 4.0 economy”.

Team of the Undersecretary of Telecommunications, Chile

The challenge

The FON project required a fiber optic supplier that could provide the material and financing to work as a strategic ally of one of the leading operators in Chile. Together, they had to face the challenge of deploying a high-speed telecommunications network that would reduce the digital isolation of part of the Chilean population, and democratize connectivity throughout the country. The aim was, among other things, to integrate isolated sectors and small populations lacking economic resources. To do so, however, it would be necessary to overcome all kinds of geographical and technical difficulties.

Proveedor fibra óptica | FYCO

“The FON is a historic project for Chile: It reached thousands of people who could not access a telecommunications service to stay connected, to access virtual education or telemedicine. We are talking about boys and girls who had to go up to the roof of their houses to connect, and about entire families that were completely isolated from the health system. Undoubtedly, this project fulfilled a very important social role.”

Alexis Arellano Urquiaga FON Engineering Manager


Anticipation.To meet this challenge, FYCO created an efficient, disruptive, agile and lean business unit. The main strategic decision went through the purchase, at the beginning of the project, of the total fiber optic stock necessary for laying the road. This required a huge investment effort and risk taking on the part of the company, and involved the storage of 1,500 fiber optic spools in FYCO's warehouses.

Agility in the face of adversity.The FON project began to be implemented in September 2019. Months later, the Covid-19 pandemic added a level of complexity to the logistics, which required the adaptation of work remotely and the adaptation of processes to respect the necessary protocols. Faced with this critical and unforeseen situation, the strategic decision to acquire the entire stock in advance was key: not only did it allow us to meet the agreed delivery times, but it also minimized the impact of the global crisis on the general dynamics of the project.

burial.Given the geographical complexity of the territory to be covered, it was decided to bury 60% of the fiber optic road. This made the project an unprecedented challenge, not only in Chile but throughout Latin America. The burying also implied the need to request changes in the Chilean regulations referring to this construction model, so as to be able to cross protected or inaccessible geographical areas.


Social impact

This project generated a unique social impact, since it allowed the integration of the most isolated or poorest communities throughout the country, which were finally able to have the necessary digital tools to make virtual education and telemedicine possible, among other things. , keys during the isolation forced by the pandemic.

The project reached rural populations that live in extreme conditions, and that until then could not access a telecommunications service that guarantees them access to opportunities and allows them to offer their boys and girls a better future.

green project

During the project, special attention was paid to the environmental impact: the highway crossed not only numerous communities but also national parks, wetlands and restricted sectors. This required the implementation of alternative intervention methods on the ground. Thanks to this experience, three construction mechanics were homologated and machinery, logistics, micro-trenching, underground and above-ground pipeline engineering was developed, which today constitutes an international benchmark for projects of this scope and characteristics.

Range and connectivity

The fiber optic highway reaches 10 regions of the Chilean territory, with a route that follows Route 5N and crosses the main national capitals, but at the same time expands towards all extremes to capture a total of 165 communes and 34 small towns that until now they were isolated.

Agility and magnitude

The FON project required 22 months of logistics in the context of a pandemic and involved the work of 1,500 people.


22months of logistics work.

1500people directly involved.

165communes and 34 small localities reached.

7,500kilometers of fiber optics.

60%of the buried trace.

“This project could not be more aligned with Fyco's mission and its desire to make history. Thanks to this fiber optic highway, we have changed the lives of many people. That fills our hearts.'”

Philip Villalobos- Country Manager FYCO Chile.

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