Pond Island:— Technical officials now busy with plans for a brand new fiber optic infrastructure for St. Maarten are predicting a major workload ahead from the New Year when some very important work is scheduled to begin on the project.
TelEm Group’s fiber optic project, in particular, running fiber to every home on the island, is being funded with a loan from the European Investment Bank, with TelEm Group as the driving force.
Once in place, the fibre infrastructure will revolutionize telecommunications on the island as we know it, particular when it comes to broadband services.
E-commerce, Tele-medicine, IPTV, e-learning, are just a few of the exciting possibilities being mentioned, as well as the all-encompassing “Internet of Thing’s where technology is promising to monitor your home, check your car and tell you when it’s time to visit the doctor – all with the availability of reliable fiber optic connections.
Planning, designing and installing the new infrastructure is expected to provide many jobs for subcontractors and other service providers in the local community over the next two years, but it is the potential to create many thousands of jobs from the wider commercial use of the fibre optic infrastructure that is creating the most buzz.
A lot of preparatory work is first required before TelEm Group and its customers can start to make good on the promise of a revolutionary fibre optic telecommunication network that spans the entire Dutch St. Maarten.
A lot of work has also been done with TelEm Group staff in assessing what is presently in place and the comprehensive plan of action that is required to deliver the high-standard of installation expected.
A very important phase will begin today, Friday,, when the first part of a tendering process is made open to the public. The public bid is a specific requirement of the European Investment Bank (EIB) that it has laid down as a pre-condition to financing the fiber project for St. Maarten to strict international standards.
Managers and department heads have been told what to expect and also have been informed about the different roles their respective departments will play in the overall project and everyone realizes there is a lot of work to be done and that staff will be very busy in one way or other hence the the insistence of the team that information regarding the plans and their execution is passed on to staff regularly to guard against communication bottlenecks that can affect productivity and stall the project.
“We are insisting that a major component of the project is the creation of jobs for locals, so we have included not only the provision of labor itself but also for training which will be important for continued employment in the future,” says Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Mr. Eldert Louisa.
He says he is looking forward to good cooperation with Mr. James Dowling, the visiting consultant assisting with the project management so that the project can gain its own traction and create much excitement in the community.
He is also pleased with the involvement of Outside Plant Manager, Marco London, and Manager, Planning & Engineering, Jed Carty, who are both playing instrumental roles alongside the visiting consultant so that there will be continuity once his scope of work has ended.
According to Mr. Louisa, managers have been receiving regular updates on the different stages of progress on the project, noting that the same managers can provide many of the answers to questions personnel may have at this time.
“Staff involvement and contribution for the next two years will be paramount. Not only because of all the knowledge that can be learned but also because of the opportunity to be involved in a cutting-edge technology that will change and revolutionize telecommunication services on St. Maarten very, very soon,” said Mr. Louisa.
The CTO has promised regular updates internally and also to the general public to keep everyone up to date with the technical progress and milestones of the project installation and everything is put in place to hand over to the commercial side of the project.
Mr. Louisa has thanked other departments in the company that has assisted in ensuring that the legal and financial aspects conform to company policy where to comes to the tendering process itself.
A brief notification about the developments above will be communicated to the general public in the form of a press release this week and meantime work will also begin on a working demonstration model of the fiber network, complete with table-top box, router, and cabling in the public area of the main building.
“We hope that by seeing a working demonstration, testing the speed for themselves and seeing how smooth TV viewing can be, customers will be as excited about the new rollout as we all are,” stated Mr. Louisa.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Technical team predict very busy year ahead for TelEm Group fiber optic rollout project.