Regional Council officials in Guadeloupe have announced their intention to deploy fibre-optic technology across the whole of the Caribbean island, as part of a public-private initiative. The government intends to initiate discussions with local municipalities in September, with a view to establishing which areas are already subject to planned fibre rollouts, before starting work on national blueprints. Jocelyn Sapodilla, vice president of the Regional Council, commented: ‘Since 2004, the fight against the digital divide has been a priority for the Guadeloupe region. [We seek] to allow access to knowledge and reduce inequalities. We have implemented measures to reduce the cost of access to high speed [services] and make it the same as in metropolitan France’.
In related news, Dauphin Telecom, a long-established operator with around 20,000 subscribers on the nearby islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy, has been selected to take charge of re-selling fibre-optic connectivity in the town of Saint-Anne to end-users. In July 2010 the town – which is situated in the southern part of Grande-Terre – was selected to benefit from a EUR2.7 million (USD3.5 million) European Union (EU) credit line, which would form part of a larger EUR4 million broadband investment. Branded ‘Saint-Anne 2.0’, the initiative aimed to extend 100Mbps fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology to 100% of the remote tourist destination. According to DOM-TOM ADSL, a website focusing on French overseas territories, Dauphin Telecom will initially offer three FTTH packages to end-users, with speeds of 10Mbps, 20Mbps and 30Mbps priced at EUR33.90, EUR59.90 and EUR99.90 per month, respectively. No mention has been made of the projected 100Mbps transmission speeds.
Elsewhere, it has been reported that the Orange Group intends to deploy fibre-optic technology in both Basse-Terre and Pointe-a-Pitre between 2015 and 2020, through its Orange Caraibe subsidiary.