Saturday, April 20, 2024

‘Full fibre coverage’ for Barbados


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Barbados has gained a powerful edge in its quest to improve its ease of doing business, as the country can now boast of being the only territory in the region with a 100 per cent Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network.

Speaking at a virtual press conference Thursday outlining the details of the development, which was 15 years in the making, Flow Barbados’ country manager Desron Bynoe explained that the last of the legacy copper system was removed in September and replaced with the fibre cables.

He said the development significantly increased Barbados’ attractiveness to investors, given that its Internet grid was now comparable with any First World nation.

Desron Bynoe takes over as Flow’s country manager. (GP)

“This is a First World network that we are actually referring to, there is none that I can think of in Latin America or in the Caribbean that is 100 per cent FTTH . . . . So, this offers a huge opportunity where Barbados can now distinguish itself from the rest of the region and can seek to attract much needed investment within the island space,” Bynoe said.

He added: “I can guarantee that this is a first in many ways and we are constantly working with key stakeholders on the island, the Small Business Association, the Government and the Barbados Chamber of Commerce, to really see how we can maximise this network to the benefit of all Barbadians.”

When compared with copper, the benefits of fibre include increased bandwidth, speed, reliability and security. Broken or damaged fibre can also be detected and repaired more quickly than copper, and fibre is much less susceptible to environmental factors such as temperature and electromagnetic fluctuation.

Apart from consistency and accessible high speeds for all on the grid, new business customers can be assured that they can be connected within five to seven days while the aim is to connect homes within 24 hours.

However, Bynoe explained that while customers might not see an immediate decrease in the bills, even though the fibre network required less maintenance cost than the previous, customers could expect the benefits to come in the form of increased deliverables.

It was noted that the system had also shown itself to be resilient to adverse weather.

Senior manager, communications, South Caribbean at Cable & Wireless Communications, Marilyn Sealy, said: “We were working towards completing the island-wide coverage when we had Hurricane Elsa  . . . . landlines would have gone down because of the power outage but the network itself withstood.”(CLM)


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