With elections mere days away, the recently altered Government of Montserrat through the Capital Investment Programme for Resilient Economic Growth (CIPREG) just signed a landmark multi-million-dollar deal with Southern Caribbean Fiber (SCF), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digicel Group, for the installation of a new subsea fibre optic cable system.

Made possible through the UK-funded Programme, the transformational 15-year agreement, worth in excess of $16m, sees SCF managing, maintaining and operating a new 25 kilometre fibre optic cable which paves the way for faster, more reliable and more resilient internet connectivity through Guadeloupe and Antigua. The agreement also provides for ten years of high speed broadband internet access for the delivery of its services for the Government of Montserrat for free.

SCF won the contract as part of a competitive international tendering process and aims to complete the installation of Montserrat’s new fibre optic system by the summer of 2020.

Montserrat has been without international fibre optic connectivity for more than 20 years, when the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano cut the island off from its undersea branch of the Eastern Caribbean Fibre System. Since then, all of Montserrat’s international telephony and data communications have been routed via a microwave network to Antigua.

The Project will be overseen by the Programme Management Office in the Ministry of Finance, and the Department for Information Technology and E-Government Services (DITES) under the portfolio of the Office of the Premier. Earlier this month, elections were called in the British dependent territory, and hours later the current administration deposed Donaldson Romeo as the leader of the ruling party.

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