TeleCuba Communications, Inc. ("TeleCuba") announced today that it has been granted licenses by the U.S. Government, Department of the Treasury ("OFAC"), to install the first of its kind direct fiber optic subsea cable between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba. The announcement comes in the wake of the Obama Administration's removing of many of the telecommunications restrictions mandated by the embargo. "The Cable will be about 110 miles with a cost of approximately 18 Million Dollars," says Luis Coello, President and CEO.
"The cable will be the first of its kind," says Virginia Hoffman of Great Eastern Group, head of TeleCuba's cable system design, construction, and installation. "It will be far more than a simple commercial cable; TeleCuba has agreements in place to provide for multiple subsea science nodes along the cables path for use by major universities and weather management agencies for both educational and research purposes."
The Company, which has steadily been working on this project for over ten years, expects the cable to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2011. Once in service, the use of the fiber optic cable will eliminate the need for satellite communication between the U.S. and Cuba. The new cable will allow for an array of new telecommunication products and services such as high speed internet and cable television, which are not feasible using current satellite communications.
TeleCuba was founded in 1995 by Luis G. Coello in Miami, FL. TeleCuba created the "niche" calling card market by introducing the first ever all-Cuba prepaid telephone card targeted to the Cuban market. Within six months, TeleCuba was processing 700,000 minutes a month becoming the leader of the prepaid calling card industry to Cuba. In 1996, TeleCuba applied for its first license from OFAC to initiate its own interconnection agreement with Cuba. After obtaining multiple licenses in the following years, TeleCuba was able to gain recognition as a premier provider of telecommunications services to Cuba in both the retail and wholesale markets. TeleCuba has a customer base that exceeds 120,000 Cuban-American customers in South Florida and had revenues exceeding 25 Million in 2003. TeleCuba is currently allocating all of its attention and resources on the installation of the fiber optic cable between the US and Cuba.