Nino Kubinidze holds working meetings with the banking sector and telecommunications operators
On September 23, 2016, director of Open Net, Nino Kubinidze, held working meetings with banking sector representatives and telecommunications operators regarding the implementation of the first part of the state program of fiber-optic broadband infrastructure development in Georgia, and in particular its financial support component.
According to the government’s Resolution 375, Open Net, as a co-funder, is directly involved in the legal relationship between program beneficiaries and the commercial bank or international financial institution. Nino Kubinidze has stated that the government is focused on supporting the private sector and that is why Open Net considered it appropriate to discuss the state program in detail with telecommunications operators and those representatives of the banking sector who are interested in the financial support component.
Dr. Kubinidze spoke with the banking sector regarding what the financial support component involves and how cooperation can be established between banks and telecommunication operators:
“We have prepared a trilateral agreement that has been sent with the technical appendixes to all interested operators, and a question and answer period has been underway since September 16. Beneficiaries are expected to apply to financial institutions in September and October. We want to provide you with as much detailed information as you require. According to the prepared agreement, if credit is provided to an operator by a bank, Open Net will subsidize the interest of the beneficiary’s loan in the amount of 10 percent from the annual interest rate in foreign currency and 12 percent in the national currency. I am ready to listen to your opinions about the financial support component and this agreement, and, regarding the interest subsidy, to involve you in the question and answer period, which will continue until September 30.”
The director of Open Net also discussed the current processes in detail with telecommunications operators and encouraged them to actively participate in the question and answer period:
"Each of you is already aware of the progress of the state broadband infrastructure development program. You know the contracts and the technical appendixes provided by Open Net, and you are involved in the question and answer period. We look forward to your feedback via e-mail. Today I want to hear what problems you are having. I want to understand what elements you agree or disagree with. If you provide us with an alternative proposal, and strengthen it with strong arguments, we are ready to make a change in the contract.”
The structure of these meetings was interactive. The parties agreed that they will use the question and answer period as much as possible to pursue their interests.
Consultations with interested parties about the financial support component during the question and answer period will be completed by September 30, 2016, after which the competition will be announced as soon as possible.