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Cuba turns to Orange for subsea cable project to connect it with Martinique

Cuba has contracted with France’s Orange, asking the French telecom to build an underwater cable that will link it to the island of Martinique.

Per multiple media reports, the news came about a week after the Biden administration recommended that U.S. regulators deny a request by submarine cable operator ARCOS-1 to connect Cuba to the United States through a new undersea cable landing station.

The objection from the U.S. was based on concerns that the cable-landing system in Cuba would be owned and controlled by Cuba’s state-owned telecom monopoly, Empresa de Telecommunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (ETECSA). The proposal would have created the only direct, commercial undersea cable connection between the U.S. and Cuba.

No details were released about the cost or capacity of the cable, which is to be supplied by Alcatel Submarine ETECSA. President Tania Velazquez said that work had begun on the project. “Today the official act was held to begin the technical work of installing the new submarine cable, the joint work of ETECSA and Orange, which will allow the diversification of Internet connection routes in Cuba,” he said on Twitter.

The sole undersea telecom that Cuba has is to Venezuela, part of ALBA-1, an 8,400-km fiber-optic cable system that was launched in 2001. ALBA-1 extends between the United States, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Curaçao, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico.

Per Wikipedia, ETECSA is the sole lawful provider of telephony and communications services in Cuba, in essence, a communications state monopoly that has some eight million clients, both national and foreign.

Read 174 times Last modified on January 10, 2023