October 5, 2018
Digicel wins bid to deliver ‘future proof’ fibre optic network

Digicel has won a bid to provide a strong fibre optic backbone in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), St Lucia and Grenada.

The initiative will see Digicel working with technology partners, Cisco and Fortinet, to deliver a “future proof” fibre optic network infrastructure.

The 15-year agreement was negotiated through the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP) and is a collaborative effort between the governments involved, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and the World Bank.

Speaking on the development, Minister of Telecommunications Camillo Gonsalves said on Monday that a lot of what we aim to do developmentally in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) requires greater infrastructure and this CARCIP program will improve “drastically” the fibre optics backbone in SVG.

He said the project will take fibre from St Vincent and extend it to the Grenadines.

Broadband in the Grenadines is distributed through microwave transmission which is limited, and Gonsalves said because of this microwave transmission, certain speeds are not possible in a sustained way as more and more people burden the microwave set-up.

“If we are serious about developing business, the hotel sector and services in the Grenadines, we have to lay cable,” stressed Gonsalves who added that the project will see the connection of all government offices and schools, as well as the Grenadines.

“…and that is going to seriously allow us to talk about e-government and smart cities and safe cities and connecting health services and all of these things electronically and to do all of that in a reliable way,” said Gonsalves.

He said the country needs this fibre backbone in place and operating reliably in a manner that benefits the state and the people.

“It will lead to reductions in cost but as always, we will believe that when we see,” said the Minister while adding that this sort of infrastructure will attract potential investors and please consumers who want reliable service.

This move comes as consumers here have increasingly complained that they get very little value for the money they spend on broadband service.