Telecom Lead America: Digicel Group plans to deploy a $16
million fiber-optic cable from Haiti to connect with an existing cable from
Jamaica to the United States, aimed at offeering improved data and call
services by July 2012. It selected Alcatel-Lucent for the project.
Digicel said it continues to mull investing in its own
separate cable to link Jamaica to the US.
The investment will offer Haiti a secondary underwater
link to the world following damage to a separate cable after the 7.0 earthquake
two years ago.
Digicel will finance the 200-kilometre cable and partner
with Columbus Networks, a fiber-optic cable network provider and Alcatel-Lucent
as technology supplier who will subcontract IT International Telecom to provide
marine services for the project.
Columbus Networks will own, operate and manage the
Fibralink Extension after it is completed.
Digicel is funding the entire project and has drawn on
Alcatel-Lucent and Columbus Networks’ technology and demonstrated expertise
necessary for the deployment of the high-capacity link.
“This expansion will add to our network, enable us
to enhance broadband connectivity further and thus deliver reliable, cost
effective bandwidth and Cloud-based services at cost-effective prices to a very
large population base,” said Paul Scott, president of Columbus Networks.
The FibraLink extension to Haiti will provide a secure,
high-capacity subsea link with 21 other countries in the Caribbean as well as
with the United States and the main internet backbone gateway in South Florida.
In Haiti, Digicel has invested over U$600 million to date
and employs over 900 people directly and more than 60,000 people indirectly.
“The benefits that this undersea link can bring to
Haiti can’t be over-estimated. We are pleased to collaborate with Digicel and
Columbus Networks on such a critical endeavour,” said Philippe Dumont,
President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks.