Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Community fibre optic project launched in Tobago
Acting CEO of TSTT George Hill, addressing a Tobago audience at the launch of the Mahogany Fibre-to-the-Community project, said more than $15 million was being spent by blink | bmobile in bringing fibre optics closer to thousands more homes throughout T&T. Residents of Milford Court are among the first in Tobago to benefit from this technology, which will allow the community and eventually others, to benefit from Blink’s Quad Play service packages and price bundles.
Hill said Tobago was one of the focal areas in the company’s five-year strategic plan, for delivery of increased fibre optic and wireless broadband as well as improved mobile coverage. “Residents and businesses will be able to access the complete quintuple portfolio of voice, broadband, entertainment, security and mobile,” he said. Hill added the company’s five-year strategic plan included providing customers with a new experience by giving them better choices and more control to define the services they want.
He said: “Our drive is to become more responsive to what customers want and to have the flexibility to deliver those diverse wants on a future-proof IP-based core infrastructure.” He said it was hoped that Tobago would become a broadband paradise which attracts significant foreign investment. The international Telecommunications Union (ITU) has estimated that by the end of 2014, the global average for broadband penetration in homes will be about 44 per cent.
Among developed countries, that average is closer to 78 per cent of households which the ITU says is approaching saturation. T&T is well above the global average at 55 per cent and with the launch of blink | bmobile’s Long Term Evolution and Fibre-to-the-Community projects, the company’s target is to achieve 95 per cent coverage of the country. Deputy Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Tracy Davidson-Celestine said the launch is welcomed as it fits into the Comprehensive Economic Plan of the THA.
“Indeed Tobago is an island driven by tourism and we are mindful of what increased connectivity can do for our competitiveness, and for the flow of resources in and out of our country, be it for economic and other endeavours. “So I expect this new thrust will touch every aspect of our daily lives and as such it will stand to improve the standard and quality of living for all of us in Tobago,” she said
Also addressing the launch were Agnes Webbe, director—Human Capital Development Unit who represented Tobago Development Minister Delmon Baker, and THA Assemblyman Huey Cadette, Secretary of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport, who is the representative for Canaan/Bon Accord where the project was launched. Webbe, in bringing greeting on behalf of the minister, spoke about the alignment of the project to the work of the ministrys in “the development of Tobago’s human capital”.