Deep Blue Cable has announced that it would extend its planned Caribbean subsea network to Colombia and Panama, changing its original plan to only roll out a high-speed broadband service in underserved Caribbean countries.
The move is an apparent bid to grab a slice of the region’s wholesale telecoms market dominated by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil.
Likely to be up and running by the second quarter of 2020, the cable will span more than 7,456 miles with initial landing points in 14 markets throughout the region, including the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad & Tobago, with dual diverse landings in the U.S., which will include the first landing of a cable on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
“The Deep Blue subsea cable network will have a profound impact not only on the communications ecosystem of the Caribbean, but also on the economic growth potential of an underserved region,” stated Stephen Scott, CEO of Deep Blue Cable.
With more than 40 planned landings, the planned cable system is expected to bring 28 island nations closer to each other and better connected to the world.
The extension would push up the total investment to US$450 million, with the cable firm also planning to connect Cuba in its second phase of rollout.
The Irish cable firm has also stated that it was redesigning its cable system in order to prevent service outage in the event of hurricanes that often batter the Caribbean islands.
America Movil has invested US$500 million in its submarine cable system (AMX-1) that connects Colombia with Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, and Puerto Rico. Like the Deep Blue project, it also makes landfall in Florida, according to Irish media.