Submarine cable work to slow down data transfer

The Royal Gazette

by Scott Neil

Scheduled maintenance to an undersea high-capacity internet and telecoms cable running from Bermuda to the US may cause a slight slowness in data transfer in the middle of March.
The optic fibre cable operated by Brasil Telecom, which carries international communications for TeleBermuda International (TBI)and Cable and Wireless to and from the Island, is due to undergo some maintenance from March 10 to 15.
There should be no disruption, but there may be a slight slow down in transmission time, according to an advisory notice from TBI to its customers.

Bermuda is served by three undersea telecommunication cables, the two oldest cables are owned by Cable and Wireless and have virtually reached their capacity, the Brasil Telecom cable has an extremely high capability and both TBI and Cable and Wireless buy capacity on it.
The cable is actually a circular “ring” that goes direct to New Jersey and has a second ‘leg’ that swings down to the Caribbean, South America and back to the US. If there is an interruption to the direct Bermuda – US link telecommunication is re-routed south, resulting in a slightly longer transmission time.

TBI is advising customers: “During this period an interruption to service is not expected, however there may be an increase in latency on the data network due to the longer transmission path assigned.

“We encourage anyone to call our international network operations centre at 278-2460 should they have any questions regarding the planned network maintenance procedure.”

A consultation period for public feedback on proposed changes to the set-up of Bermuda’s telecommunications sector ends on February 19. One of the intentions of the proposed shake-up is to attract an investor to supply a fourth undersea cable link to the Island.

In his speech to the nation this week, Premier Ewart Brown said: “The reform of telecommunications in Bermuda is an important matter and as such the Government is engaged in a consultative process which is intended to solicit feedback from all stakeholders in this crucial area.
“We are committed to this process and look forward to listening intently to the views of any and all interested persons. This issue is far from settled and I encourage the public to participate in this important process.”

The closing date for written submissions to be considered as part of the consultation process is February 19. Submission should be made to the Department of Telecommunications.

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