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Cabling: what’s under the surface

Nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population are now online – including the majority of those in Europe, Asia and North America.  Between 2000 and 2014, the percentage of Gibraltarians on the internet grew from 7 to 70 per cent. So after 15 years of rapid growth, what’s likely to happen next in a region now so reliant on infrastructure for e-gaming? GibTelecom’s Dwayne Lara explains.

By Dwayne Lara

Over the past couple of hundred years, the world has moved from the telegraph and telephone, to broadcast, satellites, the mobile and the internet. Gibraltar, and by association, Gibtelecom through its various incarnations starting with the Eastern Telegraph Company back in the 19th century, has not been immune to these changes. Situated between Europe and Africa, and its strategic location at the entrance to the Mediterranean, has meant this tiny six square kilometres territory often being at the forefront of changing technologies. In fact, the first submarine telegraph cable directly linking Great Britain and Australia landed in Gibraltar in 1870.

Moving to the 21st century, Gibraltar and Gibtelecom continue to punch above their respective weights. As the leading provider of telecommunications services on the Rock, Gibtelecom is one of the founding shareholders of the Europe India Gateway (EIG) consortium, which operates a new 15,000Km high bandwidth state state-of-the-art fibre optic submarine cable from London to Mumbai, India. The EIG system spans three continents and has thirteen landing points, including Gibraltar, and links with other worldwide cable systems.

Gibtelecom has helped in facilitating Gibraltar becoming a leading centre for some of the most prestigious e-gaming companies in the world for whom first class communications is critical. Ensuring reliable connectivity and international route diversity is paramount to Gibraltar continuing to be a location of choice for business for the years to come.

Gaming companies coming to the Rock find it operates a state-of-art hosting facilities well above sea level. The centres employ the latest industry standard technologies and apply PCI accredited data security procedures, as well as having 24/7 on-site monitoring. In effect, the Company provides industry solutions that encompass all the necessary communications, computer hosting and value-added services the ecommerce community require.

The roll-out of fibre broadband products, making up to 100Mbps download speeds available to most premises in Gibraltar by 2015, is a crucial development in making high-speed internet access available to customers. With global internet traffic set to triple in the next five years, the speed and reliability delivered by fibre broadband will allow the local community to fully embrace their digital experience. Fibre to the Node (FTTN) technology opens up a whole new world of online possibilities. It allows Gibtelecom to meet customers’ bandwidth demands, delivering faster speeds at lower prices in Gibraltar. This development should also put Gibraltar at the forefront of Europe when it comes to average internet access speeds, ahead of the European Union “Digital Agenda” objectives for broadband speeds and coverage and should facilitate

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The commitment to investment in new technologies and infrastructure will continue with the introduction of 4G services. Stemming from the proliferation of mobile and connected devices in society, 2015 will see a Company-wide shift in focus from fixed to mobile broadband development. Gibtelecom will be committing a substantial financial capital investment in 4G (LTE) mobile services that will support access speeds of up to 150Mbps.

The world is becoming a more connected place, and the next years promise to be challenging in terms of meeting this insatiable demand for higher bandwidth. Over the last few years, the Company has taken important strides to develop its infrastructure and meet such challenges. It has consolidated its position as a burgeoning global carrier and improved the service and product offerings to customers locally. It can offer services akin to those offered by large multinationals operating in exponentially bigger markets. Gibraltar is a unique place and so is Gibtelecom and that provides an opportunity, because if we do the right things and carefully, we can build a bigger international business and contribute more to Gibraltar on the way.