Flow upgrading off-island connection

This weekend, telecoms company Flow plans to install new hardware for a major upgrade to the undersea fiber connection to Jamaica, one of the two “pipes” that allow Internet users in Cayman to connect with the rest of the world.

The cable, connecting Grand Cayman to Cayman Brac and Jamaica, will get an added 100Gbps capacity. To put that in perspective, a home user will have a 10Mbps to 100Mbps connection. The new capacity can handle 1,000 of those high-end 100Mbps home connections or 10,000 of the 10Mbps connections.

In a statement, Flow representatives said, “This increased capability is designed to complement our increased Maya-1 cable system capacity.”

Maya-1 is the other cable that connects to countries in Central America, Mexico and Florida. The new capacity makes it easier to route Internet users in Cayman through different cables.

If the bigger cable goes out, as the Maya-1 system has twice this year, more traffic can be sent through to the Jamaica cable. In an interview, Cable & Wireless spokeswoman Julie Hutton said, “Everything has been put in place” to avoid Internet slowdowns and outages during the work. She said crews will be working overnight so they can make the upgrades when the volume of Internet use is lower.

She asked that drivers be cautious on Eastern Avenue as crews work in manholes on the road over the weekend.

Cable & Wireless, the parent company for Flow, has come under fire from customers and in the Legislative Assembly for slow Internet speeds.

In a press release, Cable & Wireless’s Paul Scott said, “C&W Networks is pleased to support the continuing growth and diversity of capacity needs of our wholesale customer base in Grand Cayman.