Liberty Networks uses free space optics to keep Anguilla connected

Liberty Networks uses free space optics to keep Anguilla connected

Liberty Networks says it successfully deployed free space optics technology from Taara to connect the Caribbean islands of St. Martin and Anguilla during a cable outage.

Taara’s free space optics technology transmits broadband data between two terminals using beams of light. Free space optics complements existing microwave systems, but provides significantly more capacity, up to 20 Gbps.

Liberty Networks revealed on Wednesday it deployed Taara’s technology in August 2023 whilst competing a final repair to a spur of the Eastern Caribbean Fiber System (ECFS), the subsea cable that runs from Tortola of the British Virgin Islands to Trinidad.

Liberty – the infrastructure and enterprise connectivity arm of Liberty Latin America – installed Taara terminals to link St. Martin and Anguilla to supplement existing microwave radio links between the two islands. Taara’s link beamed 10 Gbps connectivity across the 18 kilometres that separates St. Martin and Anguilla.

Ray Collins, Liberty Latin America's SVP of Infrastructure and Corporate Strategy, said that while the Taara deployment helped maintain broadband service for residents, businesses, and essential services in Anguilla while the ECFS spur was down, it will keep the links in place as a redundancy measure.

"This state-of-the-art technology not only supported the maintenance of the existing connectivity successfully but, as it is left in place, also strengthens the continued resilience of our network with triple redundancy now in place, ensuring uninterrupted communication and business continuity for our customers in Anguilla,” Collins said in a statement. “We see further use cases for this cutting-edge technology following this successful deployment.”

Taara is a connectivity project under Alphabet’s moonshot factory, X. Its free space optics technology – which was initially designed for Google’s Project Loon – has also been piloted in IndiaDemocratic Republic of Congo and Kenya.

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