Director of the Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland (RCN) Sybren van Dam and Paul Kravis on behalf of IT Telecom and Tom Noble on behalf of Ericson have on Tuesday August 23rd signed a contract for the laying of a fibre optic cable for Saba and Statia to St. Maarten and St. Kitts. Thanks to this cable both islands will soon have reliable connection to the international telecommunication infrastructure
Present at the singing were Commissioners Chris Johnson and Bruce Zagers of Saba, from Statia Island Governor Gerald Berkel. Commissioner Glenn Schmidt couldn’t make it to the meeting due to hurricane Irene. "With the realization of a redundant submarine cable system we would accomplish better and affordable broadband Internet and Telco services on Saba and St Eustatius for government, businesses, students and residential users", said the representatives of government following the signing. "All parties involved will work towards higher penetrations of Internet service on an affordable and competitive price level."
The Kingdom Representative, Mr. Wilbert Stolte is also happy with the signing:"The laying of this cable is the first tangible step which leads to fast internet on Saba and Statia. The islands can rely on my support and cooperation to realize the "fibre to the home".
The signing took place at one of the most important internet junctions in the world, the NAP/Terremark in Miami. All cables from Central and South America and the Caribbean region come together in Miami and are connected there with the rest of the world.
In the coming months the cable and appropriate equipment will be produced and shipped to our region. The laying of the cable starts after the hurricane season. This is expected to become operational at the end of March 2012.
The laying of the fibre optic cable comes as a result of discussions which took place in November 2008 during political meetings between The Netherlands, Saba and Statia. The signing of this contract is an important milestone in realizing the protocol which was signed on August 18th 2010 by the then State Secretary for Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, the Island Governor of Saba, the island Governor of Statia and the formal commissioners for Telecom Chris Johnson of Saba and Julian Woodley of Statia. In this protocol it was agreed that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations would ensure that Saba and Statia would have access to fast internet. The agreement would be met through the realization of this fibre optic cable.
The laying of the cable must provide better, faster and cheaper internet services on the islands for consumers as well as companies, students and government. A great deal of preliminary research was carried out before the signing of the contract. Thus extensive research was done to study the impact of the cable and a marine survey was carried out. With that, specialized ships were able to map out the ocean floor. In close cooperation with all parties involved, a suitable route and landing place was determined for each island.
The signing of the contract took place following an extensive and transparent bidding process. From a total of nine potential interested parties, it was eventually decided on a combination of two parties: IT Telecom and Ericson.
About IT Telecom:
IT International Telecom is an innovative company proud to provide its clients with customized solutions that meet their telecommunication, power installation and maintenance requirements. ISO 9000-2001 certified, IT is based in Montreal, Canada with offices in Bridgetown, Barbados and Halifax, Canada. For more information, please visit www.ittelecom.com
Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. In addition to its leadership in mobile, fixed, broadband and multimedia solutions, Ericsson has also been supplying submarine cable systems globally since 1995 and has its own submarine cable manufacturing facility located in Hudiksvall, Sweden.
Ericsson was founded in 1876 and today operates in 175 countries. Ericsson has been present in Latin America since 1896, where currently it is the telecom supplier market leader with over 40% of market share and more than 100 telecom services contracts in over 50 countries in the region.