Trinidad and Tobago’s Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales has confirmed that TSTT (Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago) is set to shutter its legacy copper networks by September this year.
The ownership of TSTT is split between the country’s government and Cable & Wireless Communications. CommsUpdate reports that the operator is in the process of removing disused copper lines, and has migrated more than 100,000 subscriptions from copper to fibre of fixed wireless access platforms.
Gonzalez explained the disadvantages of copper infrastructure in the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, saying: “copper vandalism and theft is a problem that has impacted not just TSTT and other T&T utility companies over many years, but is a worldwide phenomenon, with copper thieves targeting electrical substations, cellular towers, telephone landlines, railroads, water wells, construction sites and vacant homes for lucrative profits. Such incidents have intensified with the significant increase experienced in the commodity price of copper on the international market recently.”
In 2018, TSTT launched its ‘Zero Copper’ drive with the goal of shutting down its legacy copper networks by 30th September 2021. The deadline has slipped by just under a year as regulations relating to the pandemic prevented work from being carried out on the process.