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FIBER OPTICS
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The telecommunication challenges facing Haiti today include a scarcity of telephone lines. There are only about 130,000 main telephone lines in use for a population of more than 8 million people and only 10 telephone lines on Gonave Island (the largest offshore island of the country). Compensating for the small number of fixed land-line telephones are some 140,000 mobile cellular phones. In 2002 there were only 80,000 Internet users. Haitian children cannot, in their respective schools, enjoy the benefits of the Computer Science Revolution; and it is generally agreed that technical training and higher education ought to be given in front of computers via the Internet and data banks. Indeed, the integration of Haiti into the global market will inevitably go through exchanges and technologies which imply a good command of computer science.

 

In recent years it has become apparent that fiber optics are steadily replacing copper wire as an appropriate means of communication signal transmission. They span the long distances between local phone systems as well as providing the backbone for many network systems. Using light pulses instead of electronic pulses to transmit information, fiber optic networks operate at high speed - up into the gigabits per second. They have a large

 

carrying capacity and the signals can be transmitted further without needing to be "refreshed" or strengthened. They also offer greater resistance to electromagnetic noise such as radios or motors. Another advantage of fiber optic cables over copper wire is they cost much less to operate. Nowadays communication systems are unthinkable without fiber optics and all modern cables use fiber optic technology to carry digital payloads, which are then used to carry telephone traffic as well as Internet and private data traffic. One disadvantage of fiber optic cables, however, is the high cost of their installation in central regions. It is much cheaper to place them in the water on the coastline.
 

Therefore, we propose to connect all sites with deep ocean water (DOW) systems plus all coastal villages, towns and cities with a necklace of submarine fiber optic cables that will be linked to the world via the transatlantic cables. This fiber optic necklace will allow the National Telephone Company, Téléco, or another local carrier to provide communication services to the DOW sites, increase considerably and exponentially the number of fixed land-line telephones and make the Internet available throughout the country, which can become an important tool for the elimination of illiteracy. We have identified Nortel Networks as an industry leader and innovator in submarine optical solutions and a supplier of optical line systems and optical switches to deliver a powerful integrated network. We have also identified the Cable Division of Makai Ocean Engineering of Hawaii as a most experienced leader in the planning and accurate laying of submarine cables for telecommunications.

 

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