Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- Residents in four areas of the island will have access to fiber-to-the home, according to plans from Telecom provider Eutel.
So far, fiber-to-the home is only available in the Princess Garden area, but this will soon change.
“We are now going to work on Golden Rock. But before the end of the year we plan to have a total of 4 areas connected”, says Eutel’s CEO, Maryterrese Lijfrock-Redan in an interview with the BES-Reporter.
Acording to Lijfrock-Redan, fiber-optics offer important advantages for the island and Eutel’s customers. “It offers faster speed and is more reliable as it is underground. We have now have less outages, compared to before”, according to Eutel’s CEO. The fact that all cables of the new network are underground is very important for an island which lies in the hurricane zone.
The other two areas of the island to be hooked up to the fiber optic network, before the end of the year, will be Jeems and Lodi.
The investment for the realization of the fiber-optics network is sizeable. In total, Eutel is looking at an investment of about 3.5 million dollars. The investment and expansion are -so far- fully paid out Eutel’s own reserves.
Asked what the secret is of Eutel’s ability as a relatively small company to manage and pay for such a sizeable project, Lijfrock-Redan smiles before answering. “Let me put it this way: we try to work in a smart way. First of all, we are executing the project in phases, according to what we can afford. But what is really important is that we have managed to keep costs relatively low by bringing in our own equipment. We have invested in equipment like the fiber blower blowing machine, excavator and trenching machine. Having your own equipment saves a bundle compared to having to pay contractors to do all the necessary work”.