OTTs disinterested in the Caribbean, says Subsea Americas panel

04 December 2018 | Natalie Bannerman

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The first session of Subsea Americas 2018 included four industry heavyweights. Paul Scott, senior advisor at C&W Networks, Larry Schwartz, CEO of Seaborn Networks, Mike Cunningham, CEO of Crosslake Fibre and Steve Scott, CEO of Deep Blue Cable.

The panel entitled next-generation subsea routes – identifying the new & geographically diverse routes through South, Central & North America was moderated by Elaine Stafford, managing partner at DRG Undersea Consulting, discussed the biggest factors affecting the region and new cables routes to be built.

Route diversity and network latency driven increasing cloud consumption are two of the biggest issues facing the area according to C&W’s Scott.

Schwartz pointed to a number of factors including the devastating hurricanes of 2017 that damaged large parts of the US and Caribbean.

Deep Blue’s Scott said that as the regions builds out more of it subsea infrastructure and more of the older cables retire he foresees his  company working with the likes of C&W to provide and share capacity. A choice, which would “benefit the citizens who live there.”

On the topic of OTTs the panel agrees that the over-the-tops have yet to actively pursue certain parts of Latin America and the Caribbean in the same way as it has the US.

“It’ll be some time before the OTTs take an interest in the Caribbean,” said Deep Blue’s Scott. “They backhaul to the US so there’s no real incentive there.”

Although Schwartz adds that, “I don’t see the US as having a monopolistic location.”

Looking ahead Scott over at Deep Blue plans on “getting started” completing design strategy as perfectly as possible that is well aligned with the expectations of its anchor tenant Digicel.

Cunningham says Crosslake Fibre will not focus on the macro and will channel its energy into becoming a full operator with parallel projects.

C&W’s Paul Scott joked that he wants to “stay ahead of my buddy Steve Scott at Deep Blue.” But seriously, he says C&W wants to deliver a “better customer experience” and stay ahead of the disruptors.