Sunday, January 10, 2010

US$60 million submarine fibre-optic cable lands in Guyana

THE SHORE-END cable of the Guyana/Suriname submarine fibre-optic cable was successfully landed here yesterday, thereby paving the way for the further enhancement of the nation’s information infrastructure and the transformation of the local telecommunication landscape.

President Bharrat Jadgeo symbolically pulls the submarine cable ashore, as GT&T CEO, Major General (ret’d) Joe Singh, extreme right, looks on.

The Guyana Telephone and Telegraphy Company (GT&T)’s US$30M investment will provide unlimited and inexpensive bandwidth that underpins a revolution in communication and the robust redundant superhighway on which modern services run.

The historic occasion was witnessed by President Bharrat Jadgeo, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, Agriculture Minister Mr Robert Persaud, Leader of the Opposition, Mr Robert Corbin, prominent members of the private sector and senior GT&T officials.

A similar activity was recently held in neighbouring Suriname. The main submarine cable will be laid next month, while the installation of equipment for the cable stations, the laying of the terrestrial cable between Georgetown and Suriname, the connecting-up of the electronics and the testing of the system will be completed in the second quarter of this year.

The join project between GT&T and the Surinamese telecommunications company, TELESUR, will see both companies providing technical support to each other via improved fibre-optic cable terrestrial roots that will allow alternative connection points to the new submarine cable for both countries.

Speaking at a ceremony convened at the Kingston seawall, behind the Pegasus Hotel, GT&T CEO, Major General (ret’d) Joe Singh said the occasion marks the realisation of the company’s vision in delivering a modern telecommunications network to Guyana.

The gathering at yesterday’s ceremony as the cable was brought ashore.

“It is an opportune time for this to be happening when we have a sitting President who has articulated an Information Telecommunication Strategy for Guyana,” he said, pointing out that Jadgeo’s presence signals a commitment of what he hopes is a new partnership between GT&T and the government to chart a way forward that’s in the best interest of Guyana.

Noting that the laying of the cable is an important milestone in the Guyana/Suriname submarine cable project, Mr Singh said:

“The new cable will have 3000 times our current bandwidth capacity, and will facilitate a multitude of national development opportunities… As the only English-speaking country in South America, local employment opportunities will be enabled, opportunities will also be provided for in region outsource support as large companies sending jobs to call centres in other continents.

“Guyana will also be able to provide disaster recovery facilities to industries such as mining, oil and gas companies active in Guyana and surrounding countries,” he said, adding: “Subscriber bandwidth services, there will be increased DSL and broad band to home capabilities through the delivery of cheaper bandwidth, increase multi-media content in the form of digital television to the country and increased ability to deliver bandwidth to the handset.”

He said too that the development will facilitate services in telemedicine, distance learning in remote areas where there are no colleges or universities, e-security and e-governance.

“We do believe in the context of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and all that it proposes, from both a company and a national perspective, we are on the right path,” Singh said, adding that GT&T fully understands the direction in which industry and technology is heading and is committed to working with Government and all stakeholders to improve telecommunication, internet access and introduce modern service."> Read more........

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