Denis O’Brien Invests In New Telco Operator

Denis O’Brien – founder and chairman of of telecomms operator Digicel – is the man behind Deep Blue Cable, the region’s newest sub-sea cable operator. Excerpt from the Curacao Chronicle:

Last month, Deep Blue announced plans to break the fibre optic stranglehold held predominantly by the two leading telecoms in the region, Digicel and Cable and Wireless Communications.

It said it would partner with TE SubCom – a subsidiary of US$12 billion global technology company TE Connectivity – a to build the pan-Caribbean system that will span nearly 12,000 km with initial landing points in 12 markets throughout the region.

The cable network will initially connect Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Curacao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands, with eventual branches to Colombia and Panama. There will also be two connections to the United States, including the first landing of a cable on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Deep Blue Cable predicts that the ICT infrastructure project will reduce broadband service prices across the region, arguing that the fibre-optic connectivity that Caribbean countries currently rely on is “economically disadvantaged”.

While confirming O’Brien’s involvement Deep Blue Cable CEO Stephen Scott told the Curacao Chronicle that while both companieshave a common shareholder, Deep Blue Cable had its own management team which is separate and distinct from Digicel Group.

Editor’s note: For any broadband Internet company to operate in the Caribbean region, said company needs some form of off-island connectivity and bandwidth. This is so because most of the content (cat videos, Netflix, etc.) consumed by people exists on networks located outside of the Caribbean. As such, will said broadband providers – who compete against Digicel – pay the same price for bandwidth and connectivity on Deep Blue Cable’s network, or will there be preferential pricing for Digicel? Time will tell.

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