TeleCayman introduces fibre optic network

Limited bandwith, data loss and electromagnetic interference will be a thing of the past, with TeleCayman’s help. Welcoming a faster, more reliable technological network known as fibre.

For decades businesses have had their telecommunication services delivered over a copper wire infrastructure. However, data delivered over this system has had its fair share of problems. But, as Bob Dylan once crooned: ‘Times are a changing.’

With the growth in the global economy over the last two decades, the need to transmit data instantly with high degrees of reliability and accuracy increased, and a new technology was sought. Fibre optic networking, which was invented in the 70s became the standard solution, and has been embraced by all major financial centres in the world. In the same way that analogue phone systems were replaced by digital systems, fibre optics replaced copper.

It should come as no surprise then that the major financial centres of the world are linked by fibre optic networks, and businesses dealing with the Cayman Islands expect to have a similar infrastructure that can grow to accommodate the ever increasing need for high bandwidth.

‘We felt that it was the right thing to do at this time,’ explained Director of Technical Operations Bob Kanner. ‘We are corporate focused. Copper wire has its limitations, and we want to give our clients the best, which is fibre.’

Adding that the decision to break ground on their fibre optic network in December 2008 was made on the basis of feedback received from businesses about their long-term telecommunications needs. Mr. Kanner also explained that research indicated that there was a market for a second provider of non-wireless infrastructure servicing the banking, financial, legal and accounting services sectors, provided that it utilized the latest technology, was future proof and reasonably priced.

The initial time-consuming stages of the project involved laying conduit in trenches around the streets of George Town and on to Camana Bay. This was done at night and on weekends to ensure minimum disruption of road traffic. The conduit entered some 35 buildings, essentially covering all of the major businesses along the way. Once the conduit was laid, fibre cabling was then pulled through.

TeleCayman connected its first customer on to its new network on 15 March and has been progressively connecting the fibre cabling to its Network Operations Centre ever since. Existing TeleCayman wireless customers in these buildings have or will be transitioned on to the fibre network at no charge.

The fibre network required a multi-million capital outlay. However, once built, the ongoing maintenance costs will be minimal said Mr Kanner.

He also explained that the TeleCayman fibre network connects major buildings in George Town, then continues to Camana Bay along the Harquail bypass. Mr Kanner said that future expansion plans include West Bay Road and the industrial park and airport environs, which are already served by the network.

In an effort to position the company as the island’s premier provider of data and fixed line telephony services to the business community. The products offered on the fibre network, include: broadband, metro-ethernet, dedicated internet, co-location, international private leased circuits, domestic leased circuits, and voice services.

‘Internet over traditional copper services are limited in bandwidth. One way to maximise the limitation on copper is to have a higher download speed and a lower upload speed. With fibre the download and upload can be the same,’ said Mr Kanner. The added incentive? It’s unaffected by hurricanes, due to it being underground. ‘Fibre is not affected by hurricanes or bad weather. The fibre network is 99.9 per cent secure,’ he added.

Elaborating on how TeleCayman’s fibre optic network works, Mr. Kanner said, ‘It allows data to move from one point on its network to another at speeds up to 1,000 mbps. The fibre optic network has been designed in a multi-ring protected formation. If data flow is interrupted at one point on a ring, the network simply reverses the directional flow of data and bypasses the interruption.’

A network without interruption, and faster internet speed sounds appealing…doesn’t it?