Guyana, Suriname companies ink telecommunications deal

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, December 30, 2008 – The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) and Telesur of Suriname yesterday signed an agreement that will see them investing more than US$60 million to lay another fibre-optic cable for telecommunications traffic to serve both countries.

The Suriname-Guyana Submarine Cable System (SG-SCS), which will go into operation in 2010, will see the two countries linked through a 1,200 kilometre submarine fibre optic cable connected to a worldwide network of similar cables through a landing station in Trinidad. The cable will run from Chaguaramas in Trinidad to a branching unit in the Atlantic from where one spur will be diverted to Georgetown and a second to Paramaribo.

“With this investment, both Guyana and Suriname will be on equal footing with the most developed countries in terms of infrastructure, of their telecommunications connectivity, providing unlimited and secure bandwidth for business operations,” said GT&T Chief Executive Officer Joe Singh.

President Bharrat Jagdeo also welcomed the signing, saying that the government expects that the SG-SCS will provide adequate redundancy for the current telecom systems, hence, significantly improving the reliability and quality of the current systems and services.

The integrated cable system will have the potential capacity of increasing the telecommunications bandwidth by 3,000 to 4,000 times more than what is currently available through the Americas 11 cable in the Atlantic off the coast of French Guiana as well as through satellite links.

Guyana’s local telecommunications system has suffered major disruptions in the past, due to damage to the Americas 11 cable.