Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Miami-based TeleCuba Gains U.S. License for Fiber Cable to Cuba

TeleCuba Communications, a company based in Miami, Florida, has been granted licenses by the U.S. Department of the Treasury ("OFAC") to install the first direct fiber optic subsea cable between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba. The company estimates its 110-mile cable will cost $18 million. TeleCuba expects the cable to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2011.

The announcement follows the Obama administration's decision to remove many of the telecommunications restrictions mandated by the embargo.

"The cable will be the first of its kind," says Virginia Hoffman of Great Eastern Group, head of TeleCuba's cable system design, construction, and installation. "It will be far more than a simple commercial cable; TeleCuba has agreements in place to provide for multiple subsea science nodes along the cables path for use by major universities and weather management agencies for both educational and research purposes."

Once in service, the use of the fiber optic cable will eliminate the need for satellite communication between the U.S. and Cuba. The new cable will allow for an array of new telecommunication products and services such as high speed internet and cable television, which are not feasible using current satellite communications.

TeleCuba was founded in 1995 and currently offers calling card services to Cuba.