Pacific coast cable to improve telecom services

July 18, 2008

With much fanfare, the Costa Rican government inaugurated a new Pacific coast underwater cable that promises to deliver better and more reliable international telecommunications services for the entire nation.

President Oscar Arias was among high-ranking government officials who attended the launch on Friday.

“Public investment, in this day and age, does not only consist in improving routes that carry cargo from one country to another by truck or train,” Arias said at the event. “It´s also a matter of carrying information around the world.

“In fact, (the improvement of) our technological infrastructure is more important, because in this globalizing world, digital gaps produce greater social inequality than differences in infrastructure,” he added.

The $33.5 million project, financed by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), is based in Esterillos Este de Parrita in the central Pacific province of Puntarenas.

Named “Unqui,” the cable´s station is linked to another – called “Bribri” – in Limón along the east coast where two other underwater cables are located.

The underwater cable is now part of the Pan-American Crossing network connecting the United States, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela and the Virgin Islands.

Adriana Viquez, chief press officer for ICE, said the Pacific coast cable will increase international telecommunications security since, should a natural disaster strike on the east coast, Costa Rican users will not lose Internet, telephone or other multimedia service.

Placing the cable underwater saves on cost and provides better connections than via satellite, according to ICE.

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