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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Monday, April 12, 2004


Nicaragua: More info on ENTRESA's OPGW link to the Atlantic coast

Friday, I posted a note about ENTRESA's plans to run fiber 315 km from Tipitapa in the populous western part of the country to remote Bluefields on the Atlantic Coast. The link would tie Managua into an overseas fiber link for the first time (via the ARCOS 1 submarine cable). By stringing optical groundwire (OPGW) on its' high voltage transmission line, ENTRESA is crossing large stretches of rain forest not even traversed by roads, let alone any other fiber links. Bluefields has long been cut off from the rest of the country.

This ABB marketing brochure gives more information on ENTRESA's nationwide fiber system.

Two observations:
  • We often see that local power utilities such as ENTRESA can be in a unique position to help transform the information economies of developing nations, especially if the local telephone network is not in good shape.
  • The ARCOS 1 undersea fiber cable, placed in service in 2002, links most of the nations in Central America to Venezuela, the U.S. and Mexico. Most of their national capitals are on the Pacific Coast, however, so I wonder how many other countries share Nicaragua's difficulty in linking to ARCOS 1. Too bad ARCOS 1 doesn't have a Pacific Coast counterpart; perhaps ENTRESA can partner with neighboring utilities to haul their traffic to the Bluefields cable terminal.


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