Technology and television through WestStar

It’s an exciting time for WestStar, which dropped the “TV” from its name earlier this year after launching high speed Internet services. New CEO and Chairman Bob Taylor joined WestStar in September 2012 when a group of global investors purchased the company, facilitating the completion of WestStar’s Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) project. In a matter of months, WestStar’s fibre construction crews have laid fibre down the Seven Mile Beach corridor all the way into West Bay.

WestStar’s fibre optic network opens the door to a whole new range of services including Whole Home DVR, video-on-demand, and Internet speeds upwards of 100 Mbps. WestStar has already launched IPTV at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, and is installing WiFi Hot Spots for other complexes along the Seven Mile Strip. The customized business solutions include Direct Internet Access (DIA) to meet the higher bandwidth requirements of enterprise clients. All of WestStar’s fibre-optic-powered services are being launched under the brand Fuse–a name representative of the connection between technology and daily living.

The Build-out

Building a fibre-optic infrastructure is a lengthy process. WestStar has several construction crews laying conduit, pulling and splicing fibre, and taking the fibre straight into homes and businesses. And the teams are incorporating the best technology during the construction phase to minimize disruption to residents. CEO Bob Taylor says,

“We are conscientious in how we construct this network–so instead of trenching down main thoroughfares, we are boring underground. This is a cleaner, safer, less disruptive and better way to install fibre.”

From the main pipe, professional crews design the fibre-optic infrastructure to the home or business connecting via an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) which can be placed either inside or outside. From there WestStar is able to provide data and video services. Customised service plans can be created to meet the needs of any business or hotel. For residential services, WestStar is launching new channels and packages allowing customers to bundle both TV and Internet.

Experience a whole new world of TV

WestStar’s Internet-based Fuse TV not only offers more channels, but a whole new TV experience tapping into today’s multi-screen surfing. Fuse TV turns any TV into a Smart TV giving viewers access to advanced TV services such as Whole Home DVR, video on demand; and Internet-based applications. So from your television, you can check your email, upload videos to share with friends and family, and manage your entire media library.

Fuse TV’s advanced video services will be launched in phases starting with Whole Home DVR. This allows users to access the main DVR set top box from any other set top box in the house. So, mom can pull up Dinosaur Train in the playroom for the kids from the DVR in the living room.

Meanwhile, mom and dad are watching cricket live in the living room. Fuse TV also allows you to customize your viewing experience with “favourite” lists and parental controls where a password can be required for entire channels, or for any programming above a specified rating.

With IPTV you can integrate widgets into your on-screen interaction giving you instant access to important information. You can set up your widgets so that while in your office stock prices, international headlines, and weather reports are scrolling across your TV screen.

Economic Impact

Already WestStar has added 20 new positions with the fibre-optic project and according to Bob Taylor, more jobs are on the way. “If we get the approvals for the next phase of our fibre build-out, we expect to hire 30 more people. These are jobs for Caymanians and we are bringing in experts in the field to train them.”

Several studies have linked FTTH to economic growth including job creation, increased GDP, and enhanced quality of life. With an FTTH communications infrastructure in place, Cayman will be able to continue to attract leading businesses and investors along the lines of Dr. Shetty and Enterprise City.

While building a state-of-the-art fibre optic network in Grand Cayman, WestStar is upgrading services to the Sister Islands. WestStar plans to connect Cayman Brac to Television Centre via an undersea fibre-optic pipe. With this upgrade, WestStar will be able to deliver digital cable to the Sister Islands–which means more programming options for residents of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

Mr. Taylor adds, “We are here to improve the quality of life for the people of the Cayman Islands; that’s why we come to work every day. We know there is a lot to be done and we are working as quickly as possible to deliver on this promise.” The new CEO is clearly driven but also approachable. As part of WestStar’s new brand they have launched “Ask Bob.”

Residents can send their questions or comments directly to the man in charge by emailing [email protected].

WestStar is a company known in the Cayman Islands for its ability to meet the growth in demand over time; upgrading its services as new technology has become available. It has listened and responded to the requests of its clients for greater TV channel variety and faster Internet speeds, and has invested in the local community for decades. It will continue to bring the world to the Cayman Islands through the magic of state-of-the-art equipment now, and in the future.

 

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