Business

Digicel Business breaks ground on $600 million fibre network in MoBay

By Shamille Scott

Friday, March 21, 2014    

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Digicel Business has broken ground on a $600 million next generation underground fibre network, starting with Montego Bay.

The fibre will be laid along Bevin Avenue in St James, to the MontegoFreezone and Fairview — major areas of the business processing outsourcing (BPO) industry.

Gloria Henry, operations manager for the Montego Bay Free Zone noted that the area is the epicentre of the BPO industry and has been identified as a prioritised sector to grow the economy.

"Digicel's entrance into advanced network solutions will further strengthen Jamaica's attractiveness in terms of telecommunications capabilities," she said.

The network will later be built out in New Kingston and Downtown Kingston and is expected to be completed this summer. Design of the network includes a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) — a standards- approved technology that will enable Digicel to deliver a wide variety of value-added services to its corporate network over asingle infrastructure.

"This is a resilient alternative to our customers, giving them the capacity to utilise services such as cloud service, infrastructure as a service, and other business critical data applications they may need," said Jason Corrigan, general manager of Digicel Business.

Customers are increasingly demanding a larger amount of bandwidth and extremely reliable converged services that provide a rich suite of voice, video, and business critical high performance services, he added.

"We are using the most advanced trenching technique to minimise potential impact on our roads, thereby reducing disruption to traffic," he added.

Moreover, the initiative comes at a time when Jamaica is positioning itself as a global logistics hub player, said Phillip Paulwell, minister of science, Technology, energy and mining at the groundbreaking ceremony for Digicel's fibre network in Montego Bay Free Zone.

Indeed, this new fibre network will complement Digicel's tier three data centre, which has been described as a critical factor if Jamaica is to become a force as a logistics hub player, as it requires a great deal of connectivity that must be powered by ICT.

Paulwell added: "This network will allow us to communicate with some of the largest manufacturers and countries in the world as soon as the hub becomes a reality."

What Digicel is doing here, will have a positive impact on Jamaica's standing on the Doing Business Report where it currently stands at 94 out of 189 countries. It will undoubtedly help the country to improve its ranking, he added.

"This represents viable options and opportunities for businesses that want to stay relevant and maintain a competitive edge even on the global stage," declared the minister.

The new underground fibre network is being rolled out in collabroation with Digicel's technology partners, Sierra and Cisco.

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