Submarine cable: Gibtelecom in consortium that includes Libya

Following the announcement yesterday by the Europe India Gateway (EIG) submarine cable consortium that they began to accept delivery of the first part of the EIG cable system, Gibtelecom will shortly commence activation of its portion of this new cable system.

Gibtelecom has been a member of the EIG consortium since the initial stages of the project in 2007.

The EIG consortium said that they are accepting delivery of more than 11,300km of the total 15,000km EIG cable system, and 11 of the 13 landing sites. One of the accepted cable system routes is Bude (UK) - Portugal - Gibraltar – Monaco/Marseilles – Libya, with Gibraltar being one of the EIG cable landing sites that is ready for activation.

A Gibtelecom spokesperson said Gibraltar’s demand for internet bandwidth has grown on an exponential scale in recent times, largely driven by the e-gaming industry. This sector, and the finance centre too, have a high dependency on state-of-the-art communications links and Gibtelecom has been committed to investing in providing robust and diverse national and international fibre optic routes. The EIG high bandwidth fibre optic system will not only complement existing routes but also provide Gibraltar with an alternative submarine path, without the limitations on capacity or the incidence of interruptions facing land based carriers.

The cable has a capacity of 3.84 terabits along the entire route, was laid through the Mediterranean and in the Bay last summer, with testing and commissioning works taking place throughout most of 2010. The cable is largely buried, particularly where the depth is less than 100 metres, and lands to the north of Gibraltar from where it travels underground to a high-tech landing station located to the south of the Rock.

Gibtelecom’s CEO, Tim Bristow, commented on how “this important $30 million investment for Gibtelecom would ultimately provide Gibraltar with significantly improved route diversity and the high quality transmission and capacity to help meet the future growth in telecommunications traffic. It is a further step in building Gibtelecom, and Gibraltar, as an international communications hub.”

He added that “the project is helping Gibtelecom expand its frontiers, with the Company planning to set up an international marketing office later in the year.”

The EIG consortium members, other than Gibtelecom, are AT&T; Bharti airtel; Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL); BT; Cable & Wireless Worldwide; Djibouti Telecom; du; Libyan Post Telecom and Information Technology Company; MTN Group; Omantel; Portugal Telecom; Saudi Telecom Company; Telecom Egypt; Telkom South Africa and Verizon Business.