Britain’s National Grid, a utility, together with Williams Communications of the US and Chile’s Telefónica Manquehue, are investing $123 million to set up Southern Cone Communications Company, which will build a 4,300 kilometer (2,660 mile) broadband fiber optic network linking Argentina and Chile. Forecasters say Latin America’s market for high-capacity broadband connections will double to $8 billion by 2005, as Internet, e-commerce and video conferencing spreads. National Grid, which has stakes in power and telecommunications ventures in Argentina and Brazil, is putting $61 million into the new company and will hold half the equity. Williams is investing $24.5 million for a 20% stake, and Telefónica Manquehue is contributing $37 million for the remaining 30% of the company. Southern Cone Communications has also raised $100 million in bank debt to finance the project. National Grid is also spending $80 million for a 30% stake in Telefónica Manquehue, which operates a broadband network in Santiago.