The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) last Friday commissioned its $60+ million **Bahamas Domestic Submarine Network International (BDSNi)**.

BTC President and CEO Leon Williams praised the engineering and managerial staff at BTC for completing the project “on budget and on time.” Alfred Phillips, Engineering VP at BTC, said the BDSNi, a next generation submerged fibre optic cable ring that ties 14 of the inhabited islands together, can support any modern telecommunications service available throughout the world.

The network extends through Abaco, Andros, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Inagua, Long Island, Mayaguana, New Providence, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador. Of the major inhabited islands, only Bimini, the Berry Islands and Little Inagua remain to be connected to the network.

Works & Utilities Minister, the Hon. Bradley Roberts, noting that the new network is owned by BTC and therefore 100% by the Bahamian people, spoke to the e-education applications. Reportedly, the Minister of Education anticipates the launching of a programme that will connect the various schools throughout the islands via the Internet. In addition to e-education, the greater bandwidth capabilities will enhance broadband services for high-speed Internet access, e-commerce, e-government – as well as expansion of GSM services.

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie said the network will provide an incentive for local and foreign businesses to invest in the southern islands, as well as serving the requirements of the country’s National Disaster Recovery Plan. BTC says the ring network will guard against hurricane outages throughout the inter islands of The Bahamas and will carry 90% of BTC’s voice traffic on its system from the islands. *”Given the effects of hurricanes in our country, to know now that we have virtually a hurricane-proof communications system by virtue of the cable is a wonderful protective development for our people, which enables them to always be in communication with different parts of our country, including the government of the country in New Providence,”* continued the Prime Minister.

As part of BTC’s overall network development strategy, the company last year completed the **Grand Bahama – Bimini Submarine Network**, a fibre optic submarine cable at a cost of $6.1 million, replacing the microwave system that had been in place previously.