Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
July 11, 2008

Province Links with Greenland

On Wednesday, July 16, TELE-Greenland, a telecommunications firm, will begin the process of connecting Greenland to Newfoundland and Labrador through 4,600 kilometres of sub-sea fibre optic cable. Newfoundland and Labrador was selected by TELE-Greenland as the location to come ashore because of the strength of the province’s fibre optic link with mainland Canada – a link that was facilitated by the Provincial Government’s $15 million investment in the province’s second trans-gulf fibre optic network.

The new cable network will land in Milton, Trinity Bay where the company is also building an advanced communications facility. The initiative, called Greenland Connect, is part of a $140-million strategy to improve Internet and telephone services in Greenland. It is expected to provide international and domestic connectivity to meet Greenland’s growing bandwidth requirements.

"Upon being first elected, the Provincial Government made a series of investments directed at improving our telecommunications infrastructure," said the Honourable Trevor Taylor, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. "Our advanced telecommunications capacity has led to the province emerging as an attractive venue for foreign investment, and positions us a gateway between North America and Europe."

The Maersk Responder is part of a two-vessel operation, which will lay cable in Trinity Bay on July 18. It will be in St. John’s on July 16. The support vessel, the Blue Castor, will be docking in St. John’s on July 13.

"TELE-Greenland’s decision to land and invest in Newfoundland and Labrador highlights the importance of trans-gulf and supports our investment," said Minister Taylor. "If we had not made that investment, TELE-Greenland would not be here and the opportunities that it presents would be lost to another jurisdiction."

The Provincial Government’s investment was in partnership with Persona Communications – now EastLink Communications – Rogers Communications, and MTS-Allstream. The total cost of the network was $52 million. For its investment, the province received six fibre strands between St. John’s and Port aux Basques, four strands between Port aux Basques and Halifax, two strands from Port aux Basques along the south coast to St. John’s, and four strands between Cox Head and Plum Point. The network has been operational since the fall 2007.

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Media contact:
Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290
scottbarfoot@gov.nl.ca

2008 07 11                                                       2:00 p.m.


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