Cable Bahamas says it has seen a 20 per cent increase in Internet data usage since it increased subscriber bandwidth speeds last month, an improvement it plans to further build on.
For the BISX-listed communications provider has announced a major increase in its international connectivity to the world as part of ongoing network optimisation plans.
Beginning today, Cable Bahamas said it will boost its capacity between the Bahamas and its primary and secondary connection points to the global Internet, in the US, by over 220 per cent - a more than six-fold increase since its undersea fibre optic cable was launched more than 10 years ago.
This comes after Cable Bahamas increased subscriber bandwidth speeds by between 500 and 1,000 per cent, moving former speed levels of 3, 6 and 9 megabits per second for residential subscribers to 15, 30 and 50 megabits per second, respectively.
It also introduced a new speed level of 70 megabits per second for residential customers, and up to 500 megabits per second for commercial clients. This was the first time broadband speeds at these levels have been available in the Bahamas.
Since that launch, Cable Bahamas said it has seen an increase in Internet data usage of 20 per cent. “We expected that our subscribers would begin to place greater demands on our network as we opened up new speeds to them,” said Cable Bahamas’ director of network operations, Oswald Dean.
“That is exactly what has happened. Our customers have had such a great experience with their new speeds that we saw a 20 per cent jump in Internet data usage in the first three weeks. They love being able to more quickly and reliably access services that need more speed, like video streaming, video chat and more demanding business applications.”
Cable Bahamas’ head of marketing, and product manager for the REVON Internet product, David Burrows, added: “Over the last year we have been delivering an average 23 terabytes of data per month through our network.
“Since the launch of our new speeds this has increased to over 28 terabytes per month. That increasing demand for traffic throughput was the motivating factor behind the move to increase the international bandwidth.”
Mr Burrows added that the Bahamas’ communication link to the rest of the world was as important to its existence as air and sea travel. “Ships bring us food and commodities that we need to survive, while planes bring visitors that boost our tourist economy,” he said.
“Today, so much of our lives are now dependent on how we connect to the rest of the world that our economy would be severely hindered without that robust communications link........ Data and information is the ‘new currency. As such, we must ensure that the networks that facilitate
these critical services are designed, engineered, sufficiently scaled and reliable to meet present and, more importantly, future demands.”
Mr Burrows referred to a report by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union), which highlighted the importance of fast, reliable connectivity for any country’s economy.
“We know that broadband connectivity is now considered basic infrastructure, and this delivers important economic and social benefits,” Mr Burrows said.
“In every country in the world, these networks are now just as important as transport, power or water networks. In fact, a broadband network like ours is the lifeline of almost every area of our economy. It is vital for the Bahamas to have this infrastructure as an island nation in the 21st century to stay ahead of our regional competitors.”
Mr Dean explained that the off-island bandwidth boost was a strategic progression in Cable Bahamas’ network evolution plans. “This increase in our international ‘pipe’ will ensure that we are always ahead of the demands of our consumers,” he said.
The work required to put the necessary infrastructure in place began almost six months ago, and included upgrading key transport equipment and new training for more than eight engineers and technicians on the team responsible for the network.
Cable Bahamas’ vice-president of information and telecom systems, Blaine Schafer, explained: “This is the result of what we call ‘capacity planning’. We project our subscribers needs and plan accordingly.
“As people rely more and more on the broadband speeds we provide, they will start to consume more capacity. Our job is to anticipate and respond to that demand.”