Montserrat cable project completion is confirmed

Montserrat cable project completion is confirmed

Local press reports indicate that the installation of a new submarine fibre optic cable system from Montserrat to a branching unit between Guadeloupe and Antigua has been successfully completed.

The project aim, for which expressions of interest were first solicited in 2013, was to reinstall a cable lost after volcanic eruptions on the island in 1995.

The cable-laying ship IT Intrepid successfully completed the laying of the cable and integration of the branching unit, which started on 29 June and finished on 2 July. The cable ship returned to Bunkum Bay in Montserrat on 3 July. It then completed the end-to-end testing of the submarine cable system to certify connectivity from the beach manhole to Antigua and Guadeloupe.

Focus will now shift back to the completion of the terrestrial components of the project.

An end-of-August ready for service (RFS) date is predicted for the new Montserrat Submarine Cable System.

As a popular tourist destination, the island hopes that enhanced connectivity will make it better equipped to target ‘digital nomads’ who can work from anywhere. Indeed, improved connectivity is said to be one of the medium-to-long-term strategies in the country’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan for Tourism.

The finishing of the project is timely, following on from the lifting of the coronavirus-inspired late-night curfew on 1 July and an end to a number of restrictions on people and businesses, albeit precautionary measures remain in place and Montserrat’s borders remain closed.

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