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Digicel fibre roll-out on track

Published:Sunday | July 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Richard Browne, Business Reporter

After three months on the job, Digicel is on track to complete phase one of the roll out of its subterranean network in Kingston and Montego Bay by the end of this month.

"Work is well underway with the roll-out of our underground fibre network in Montego Bay and in Kingston," Ative Ennis, head of enterprise solutions at Digicel Business told Sunday Business.

"The project started a little over three months ago and we are looking forward to completing this by the end of July of this year," Ennis said.

The telecoms company is laying 22 kilometres of fibre in this first phase.

The fibre cable is being laid under the existing road network using a state-of-the-art micro-trenching method for the deployment. This technique creates a very narrow and shallow groove in the asphalt, just a couple of inches deep and barely noticeable to traffic. A micro-tube through which the fibre will run is then inserted, and the groove is filled and resealed.

"We have already completed work in the key commercial areas of Montego Bay, while work in Downtown Kingston and New Kingston are still in progress," said Ennis.

The network will allow Digicel to increase its income streams from information communication and technologies (ICT) at a time when its core area of consumer cellular phone calls has matured.

The company saw a greater than 50 per cent increase in ICT revenues in the last financial year. ICT now makes up more than 10 per cent of Digicel's entire revenue, and it aims to increase that to a target of 25 per cent of total revenue.

The fully redundant corporate subterranean fibre network has tree main purposes - to support Digicel's future LTE network, to provide connectivity for ICT services and to provide quick and reliable corporate broadband services.

"Digicel Business' underground fibre network will enable us to provide our business customers with even greater capacity to take advantage of modern business applications such as cloud computing, infrastructure-as-a-service, videoconferencing and a range of other modern business services," Ennis said.

"Also, customers using our fibre network will have even greater bandwidth as well as full Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) service to their business. In addition to this, customers will also have more resilient and scalable connectivity options to and from Digicel's Tier III certified data centre," he said.