Putting technology as another the jewel in Tobago’s crown

A full fibre ring around the island promises to improve the reliability of service nodes from Scarborough to Charlotteville.

"Clean, green, safe and serene", Tobago has earned a reputation for development in harmony with the environment. A place where modern amenities for world class tourism and business meet traditional values and a passion for culture. In the midst of all of this, residents work hard to preserve the island’s unique character and independent spirit.

The drive for the further development of Tobago is getting a significant push through TSTT’s 5-Year Strategic Plan which is designed to position Trinidad and Tobago as the best connected country in the region. In Tobago size, topography and distribution of the population centres present unique challenges, however, the mix of technologies TSTT is deploying is designed to facilitate effective communication within the island and between the island and the rest of the world.

Tobago is a popular destination for foreign and domestic tourists alike. In 2009, Trinidadian tourists visited Tobago 49 times more than British travelers bringing the total number of domestic arrivals to 771,196. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the Travel and Tourism industry constitutes approximately 40% of the Tobago’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 50% of all employment. It is therefore critically important to ensure that connectivity on the island is optimal for those who love the illusion of getting away from it all while remaining connected to everything. The new inter-island fibre launched two years ago saw TSTT join a consortium of carriers to lay a new fibre optic cable that dramatically increase the total bandwidth available for Tobago and providing a conduit to the gateway to the rest of the world.

Another major part of modernizing Tobago’s telecoms infrastructure involves bringing more fibre optic access directly into communities and for communities where fibre optics is not a viable option, the latest Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless broadband technology provides the perfect alternative. Wired and wireless broadband is enabling more homes and businesses to access a range of services that ride on top of the technology, from Internet access to video conferencing, subscription TV, gaming and security to name a few.

Last April, TSTT launched the LTE powered Blink Wireless Broadband Pilot Project in Golden Lane, Tobago. This project provides residents in the community with highspeed wireless access that was much faster to deploy than cables and the installation at properties was equally simple. “With LTE, customers take home a simple plug and play device that they easily power on and can experience data speeds of up to 10 megabits per second (mbps). This is a fast, efficient, effective solution to reduce the digital divide” said acting CEO George Hill. “Just imagine the endless possibilities now available at the fingertips of residents and businesses”.

Affordability of broadband access is further augmented by as many as seven Bzones (expansive public broadband access spots) which, when taken with LTE and fibre optic installations puts Tobago well on the way to achieving a 95% wireless coverage footprint.

At the same time mobile network enhancements have also started and upgrades will continue in order to match the high demand for data and the greater use of apps. Customers will also be hosted in new customer service offices in Gulf City Mall to complement the overall improvement in their blink | bmobile service experience.

With the successful completion of the first year of TSTT’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, already the projects done to date demonstrate the company’s strong commitment to fulfilling the development aspirations of stakeholders in Tobago and in the process ensure that no community is left behind on the march to establish Trinidad and Tobago as the best connected country in the region.

From LTE and Fibre optic connections to upgraded facilities, Acting CEO George Hill speaarheads Tobago's development plans.

Tourism Hub - foreigners and locals immerse themselves in the cultural and entertainment offerings of the island's Jazz Festival.