Digicel leads project to reconnect Haiti to the global Internet

Communications service provider Digicel says that it will soon provide Haiti with high-speed communications links to the rest of the region and the world, two years after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the country. The link, which will connect to the existing FibraLink system, will extend 200 km at a cost of $16 million.

Mar 29th, 2012

Communications service provider Digicel says that it will soon provide Haiti with high-speed communications links to the rest of the region and the world, two years after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the country. The link, which will connect to the existing FibraLink system, will extend 200 km at a cost of $16 million.

The project – which is being undertaken in conjunction with Columbus Networks, the undersea fiber-optic cable network provider in the Pan Caribbean Americas region, and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris; NYSE : ALU) – will dramatically expand the range and quality of fixed and mobile broadband services and content delivered throughout the country.

The earthquake in January 2010 damaged or destroyed much of Haiti’s communications network, including the country’s only other subsea cable link which, to date, has not been fully restored. As a result, the Haitian population and the Haitian economy have suffered from the lack of high-capacity broadband connectivity that is pivotal to business, public sector and social activity.

Digicel group director of international business, Conor Clarke, said, “For more than two years now, Haiti’s recovery has been hindered by the lack of high-capacity broadband connections with the rest of the world. With the delivery of this critical undersea cable, the people of Haiti will see a truly dramatic improvement in the range and quality of communications services available.”

Once completed in June 2012, the FibraLink extension to Haiti will provide a secure, high-capacity subsea link with 21 other countries in the Caribbean region - as well as with the United States and the main Internet backbone gateway located in South Florida. Digicel is funding the entire project and has drawn on Alcatel-Lucent and Columbus Networks’ technology and expertise.

Digicel’s undersea cable project is the latest in its ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. As the single largest private investor in Haiti, Digicel has invested over $600 million to date and employs over 900 people directly.

Philippe Dumont, president of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said; “We are proud to be part of this initiative as one of the variety of other outreach programs to support Haiti’s recovery. The benefits that this undersea link can bring to Haiti can’t be over-estimated.”

Alcatel-Lucent originally deployed the FibraLink system which provides coastal and terrestrial connectivity from Kingston to Ocho Rios and Montego Bay in Jamaica with direct connectivity to the US by integrating into other parts of Columbus Networks’ infrastructure.



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