New telecom company starts its long distance service in Trinidad

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, May 29, 2008 – Windward Telecom Limited has launched long distance services in Trinidad and Tobago and says it is looking to expand further across the region.

The company has been moving switched traffic through its Miami and Port of Spain switches on a commercial basis for the past week.

“Expatriates and foreigners calling into Trinidad will be the initial beneficiaries of
Windward’s wholesale services,” said Douglas Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of Windward Telecom. “Our international carrier partners will be able to provide material price reductions, improved call quality and enhanced call completion rates to their customers in over 230 countries.”

“The absence of carrier pre-selection, often referred to as long distance equal access, precludes Trinidadians from directly benefiting from Windward’s presence at this juncture,” said Cunningham.

However, Windward Telecom and other competitive carriers have been notified by the regulator that the Equal Access issue will be addressed in the third quarter of this year.

In a release announcing the launch of its international telecommunications network, the company also indicated that it intends to file for additional licences throughout the Windward Islands in the months ahead to expand its regional hub from its premises in Port of Spain and Miami, thereby reducing the cost of intra-Caribbean calls.

It added that it is also in various stages of negotiations with major oil and gas companies, several government agencies and a number of domestic and international carriers to construct two self-healing fibre optic rings which would link upwards of 30 drilling rigs and production platforms to cable landing stations situated at Chaguaramas, Crown Point, Tobago and Galeota Point.

The company said that it anticipates making further announcements about this Trinidad Offshore Fibre Electronics (TOFFE) project by the end of June.

Windward Telecom Ltd. is controlled by Network Research Inc., an international telecommunications consultancy and is 10 per cent owned by C.A. Bancorp Inc., a publicly-traded Canadian merchant bank and alternative asset manager.