ITU hails connectivity boost for Cuba
Geneva, 11 February 2011 — ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré was guest
of honour at a
Santiago de Cuba on 9 February marking the arrival of a new undersea fibre optic
cable that will dramatically increase Cuba’s connectivity with the outside
640-gigabyte capacity and a lifespan of 25 years, the ALBA-1 cable will provide
a near 3,000-fold increase in Cuba's voice, data and video transmission speeds.
US$70 million, the cable runs 1,630 kilometres from the Venezuelan port of La
Guaira to the eastern Cuban town of Siboney. A second segment will stretch 230
kilometres from Cuba to Ocho Rios in Jamaica.
Siboney beach, where the cable was brought ashore after a 19-day journey on
cable laying vessel the Ile de Batz, Dr Touré hailed a new era in Cuban
connectivity. “This propels Cuba into the high-speed era, taking connectivity
from a mere 380 megabits per second to true ultra-fast broadband.”
In the first
instance, the new cable will enable state enterprises to work more efficiently,
allowing different departments to communicate more effectively and help them
deliver improved services to the Cuban population. It will massively speed up
connection speeds in the information technology clubs, post offices and research
centres where most computers are currently located.
say the country’s priority will be to build more public telecentres and improve
Internet access at schools, hospitals and scientific institutions.
A number of
high-ranking Cuban and international officials attending the bi-annual
Informatica conference were also present at the ceremony, including Cuban Vice
President Ramiro Valdes.
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