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Kelcom granted submarine cable licence

Kelcom granted submarine cable licence

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Kelcom has announced that it has been issued an undersea cable landing licence by the Government of Barbados.

The company says the licence was issued to Kelcom International (KaribCable)/Island Fibre, which plans to build submarine fibre-optic cable across the Eastern Caribbean with a projected price tag of US$100 million. {{more}}The cable will span the entire Eastern Caribbean linking North and South America with breakout at each island.

Kelly Glass, a director of Island Fibre, said the new cable would help to satisfy demand for Internet and other data transport in the Caribbean.

“The new cable will give consumers more choice and lower communications costs. We are delighted to have secured landing rights on Barbados, which is one of the largest economies on the fibre route,” he said.

The announcement of the licence being issued was made by Barbados’ Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Anthony Wood, at a telecommunications conference in Barbados in September

The Minister said the cable would help provide additional bandwidth to the international market and break dependency on the Eastern Caribbean Fibre System.

The licence was granted to regional telecommunications provider Kelcom International, one of the principal shareholders in Island Fibre.

Kelcom says that licences have already been granted on the French islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Martin while applications are presently being considered by the OECS countries of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, St. Lucia, Dominica and St. Kitts.

The company says it plans to submit an application to the Government of Antigua in the near future and expects “a positive outcome”.

Kelcom says the new system will bring benefits to the islands and would establish “full competition and more choice for our people; reduce costs; improve quality for products and services; establish international competitiveness; increase employment opportunities and improvements in Gross Domestic Product from a broader base economy.”

Island Fibre has offered to provide other social and economic benefits, including school learning networks and online medical services.

It said the planned network will initially deliver 10 gigabytes of usable capacity to the region for data and voice traffic representing “only a portion of the system’s current designed capacity and overall capability”.

Island Fibre said it has adopted “a phased approach to ensure that associated start-up costs are in line with expected and quantifiable targets at the time of service commencement.”

It says that future phased capacity increases are planned and will be driven by market acceptance and customer demand. Island Fibre Holding S.A. is the company organised to co-ordinate the design, implementation and management of the submarine cable project.

Cable and Wireless owns the only submarine cable currently providing regional communications across the Caribbean.