TCCN cable network project still in limbo

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Trans-Caribbean Cable Network (TCCN) project that would link the Caribbean to Miami continues to hang in limbo, while an alternative project - called The Seahorse-1 - that would use TCCN's cabling rights appears to be dead, Brian Crawford, head of the Telequity Group, told BNamericas.

The Telequity Group owns the rights to develop the TCCN cable. Under Crawford's direction, the Trans-Caribbean Cable Company (TCCC) consortium and its TCCN project dates back to 2004.

The project's first phase was designed to interconnect Jamaica and the NAP of the Americas, in Miami. Secondary phases of the network were planned to extend the cable to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Colombia.

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In 2009, Cobian International Group said that it had acquired TCCC's rights and that through its wholly owned subsidiary Triton Telecom, it would build an alternative submarine cable project, The Seahorse-1.

However, according to Crawford, the agreement with Cobian never came to fruition.

"Our consulting company [Telequity] still owns TCCN because Cobian never paid anything. No transfer was made as nothing was ever finalized.... The Seahorse project is obviously dead," said Crawford, who was to provide technical consulting to Cobian on Seahorse.

Seahorse had initially been planned to link Miami, Cacique in the Dominican Republic and Isla Verde in Puerto Rico with a branch line to Jamaica.

But in February last year, Cobian CEO Joanne Negron told BNamericas that on discovering there was sufficient demand, Cobian had decided to do a direct route from Miami to Kingston, Jamaica, instead of just a branch, and from there continue to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Miami.

Crawford continues as a consultant for undersea cabling projects with Telequity group, but does not currently have any active plans to develop TCCN in the Caribbean.

"Basically there is no concrete plan at this moment," he said. "There have been some requests asking us what is happening and asking is if we're willing to do anything. We've been evaluating the options of course, but nothing concrete is happening."