New undersea fiber-optic cable project could benefit Cayman.

Currently, the Cayman Islands are connected to only two underwater fiber-optic cable systems, both around 20 years old.

Deep Blue Cable is working on an ambitious plan to lay a 7,456-mile subsea cable that will initially connect 12 markets in the Caribbean by the end of the decade.

Underwater fiber would provide more security in the case of one of the other networks experiencing a failure.

Decrease broadband prices in a region that were lagging behind most of the rest of the world.

“In the Caribbean, the cost of broadband is about $4 per megabit per month, compared with the Atlantic, which is 40 cents per Mb per month. That’s predominantly because of the lack of competition in the area,” said Deep Blue Cable CEO Stephen Scott.

The Deep Blue CEO further explained that the new network will be more cost-efficient than the existing ones because of improvements to fiber technology that have taken place over the decades.

Deep Blue is aiming to have the initial network onstream by the fourth quarter of 2019, but the project is still in the early stages. Mr. Scott said the company is in discussions with regulators in the U.S. – the cable is planned to connect to Naples, Florida – and around the Caribbean.

Deep Blue is also determining exactly where to locate its two connection points planned for Grand Cayman and will decide after conducting a terrestrial survey of the areas.

Mr. Scott declined to say how much the initial Deep Blue project is expected to cost but said that a fiber network spanning the entire region would run at more than $400 million. Such an investment is worth being made in a market ripe for competition, he said.

“A number of the existing cables in the region will reach the end of their design life over the coming 10 years,” he said. “There will be opportunities to sell wholesale to a significant number of Caribbean operators.”

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