Nearshore Americas

Major Latin American Submarine Cable to be Operational Shortly

A consortium of telecom firms, including the likes of Cable & Wireless and Telefonica, has finished laying a submarine cable that connects seven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States.

The cable, which originates in Florida, will be capable of handling 80 terabytes per second – enough to send more than 2,500 uncompressed HD films a second. The cable connects the United States with the Virgin Islands, Aruba, Puerto Rico, Curacao, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador.

Billed as one of the biggest telecom infrastructure projects in the region, the submarine cable is expected to increase Internet speeds in most of the Caribbean and Central American countries, besides bringing down connectivity costs.

French networking giant Alcatel-Lucent carried out the project, which was commissioned by regional carriers and ISP providers including Telconet, Setar and UTS, in addition to Cable & Wireless and Telefonica.

In an interview with Efe news agency, Carballeira Pedro, Telefonica International wholesale services director of sales for Central America and Venezuela, said: “Nowadays, we can’t count on a single cable, because we have become so dependent and it is necessary to have different alternatives in case one cable fails.”

For Telefonica, which has more than a dozen data centers across the region, the cable network will be a major source of additional income, because the carrier can soon resell telecom capacity to numerous Internet service providers (ISPs) in the region, particularly in countries where a lack of bandwidth has pushed up Internet service costs.

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If all goes according to plan, the cable will be operational by the end of next month.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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