The Daily Brief – Ecuador Technology Scores Big
This article’s headline should resonate with those that read my August 9, 2013 piece on Internet service in Ecuador It was hardly a glowing assessment, but one which realistically defined the extent of advancing Internet service in Ecuador and the regions in which it proliferated most…and…least.
The key theme of the article was that for anyone requiring serious Internet access, akin to what is commonly found in the USA, Canada and Europe, the only realistic option was a business-oriented fibre optic line, offering a true direct 1:1 connection onto the Information Highway. The process is costly and can take some time, as fibre optic cabling is actually custom brought out to site, from the central hub nearest the installation location. Sometimes, the fibre optic cabling was on back order and the waiting game commenced. Looking to the future of Ecuador technology, that wait is almost certainly over. With a subdued fanfare of sorts the Correa Administration just announced that not only would the availability of fibre optic cabling no longer be an obstacle, but that by 2014, Ecuador would actually be a net fibre optic cable exporter. The reason for the optimism is the announced creation of the largest fibre optic cable factory in all of Latin America. In 2007, Ecuador had a mere 3,500 km of fibre optic cabling laid throughout the nation. During the Correa Administration that number expanded 10-fold in little over 5 years, as 35,000 km of fibre optic cabling exists today. The stellar growth was actually considered “limited” by members of the Correa Administration, as Ecuador constantly had to import the fibre optic cabling.
Today, a private sector initiative by TelcoNet, an Ecuadorean telecom and Fiberhome Telecommunication, headquartered in China, has created the Latham Fiberhome Factory for the production of fibre optic cable. Mr. Jaime Guerrero, the Minister of Telecommunications in Ecuador announced that with this giant step, “…Ecuador would transition from an importer to an exporter of fibre optic cabling by 2014, while also ensuring a readily available supply of fibre optic cable for domestic Internet service providers (ISPs).” This dramatic change ensures that Ecuador will move closer to the cutting edge of first-world communication data and Internet service, with a domestic brand of product, which will add much needed high-tech jobs to the Ecuadorean economy. Minister Guerrero anticipates that the factory production capacity can be rapidly ramped up to provide for the needs of Venezuela, Colombia, Perú, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina combined. Precisely the export-oriented, high-tech economic impetus, which the Correa Administration economic plan has emphasized. However, the rate at which “the plan” is rapidly becoming a reality is nothing less than astounding. One more reason to focus global investment attention on the tiny nation of Ecuador. The new production plant will be fully capable of producing the most modern, most highly advanced fibre optic cable currently available, consistent with the highest global manufacturing standards. It is just one more example of private sector capitalist innovation in Ecuador. While Internet penetration throughout Ecuador still has a long way to go, this latest development clearly illustrates that the future of high-tech in Ecuador looks very bright. Technology has scored big in Ecuador and the beneficiary is going to be every Internet user across the nation, as service quality is ramped up, while costs are driven way down. Usher in the new era for Ecuador technology !
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