Friday, May 25, 2012

Venezuela: Fiber-optic cable to Cuba is working

Posted on Thursday, 05.24.12

Venezuela: Fiber-optic cable to Cuba is working
The Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela -- An undersea fiber-optic cable that was laid last
year between Venezuela and Cuba is working, a Venezuelan government
official said Thursday.

The cable was rolled out starting in Venezuela and reached eastern Cuba
in February 2011. But 10 months after the system was supposed to have
gone online, Cuba's government has not recently mentioned the cable, and
the Internet on the island remains the slowest in the Western
Hemisphere. The link had been expected to promptly improve the speed of
the Internet in Cuba.

Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela's science and technology minister, said that "a
few months ago we signed all the remaining protocols, all the necessary
security measures with the Cuban government."

"It's absolutely operational. It will depend on the Cuban government
what it uses it for. Of course that's their sovereign matter, but we
know that the undersea cable is in full operation," Arreaza told reporters.

The project was carried out last year by the company Alcatel-Lucent SA
of France for the state telecommunication companies of Venezuela and
Cuba. The cable stretches about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from
Venezuela across the Caribbean Sea to Siboney in eastern Cuba. From
Cuba, an extension of about 150 miles (240 kilometers) was also laid
from Cuba to Jamaica.

Arreaza said officials are considering the possibility of another branch
stretching to the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the
Dominican Republic.

He said Venezuela's telecommunications system benefits from the new link
to Jamaica because it offers additional connections to other undersea
cable systems running toward the United States and Europe.

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