Rehabilitation of Guyana’s state-owned fibre-optic cable, which was first laid improperly, has begun and should be completed before year-end, according to a senior official of the company that has been contracted to do the job.
The official of Dax Engineering told Demerara Waves Online News that work began two weeks ago.
Government intends to use the Internet service for its E-Governance Project as well as distribute free or low-cost Wi-Fi (wireless internet) via several Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 4G data transmission systems that have been already built across the coast.
He confirmed that his company and government were on the verge of reaching agreement on the maintenance and repair of the cable after it has been activated.
The official said surveys have been conducted in areas of rough terrain to ensure that the cable is not buried in places that are vulnerable to erosion during heavy rainfall.
The laying of new stretches of cable and the repair of other sections is expected to cost at least another US$10 million, according to the company official.
The Dax Engineering official said already 20 kilometers of the steel reinforced (armoured) fibre-optic cable have been laid along the Linden Highway. He said the cable would be placed in ducts and buried in areas that are especially prone to flooding, erosion and damage by vehicular traffic.
Up to late last year, government had already spent US$34 million on running the 600 kilometer long cable from Lethem to Georgetown. However, sources said sections of the cable have been badly damaged or destroyed because it was not laid to take account of the terrain and roadway.
The Dax Engineering official said that since his company was first awarded a contract to lay the first set of cable, a special trenching machine was purchased. He said that it was because of that machine that there was no significant damage to the section of cable that Dax Engineering had laid from Linden to Mabura.
Guyana is paying a Brazilian company US$150,000 per year or internet connectivity that has not been distributed because the cable has been damaged or destroyed in several places.