Investment Bank supports improved internet access

POSTED: 11/5/15 12:05 PM

Finance contracts signed in St. Maarten

St. Maarten – The European Investment Bank, Europe’s long-term investment institution, has agreed to provide EUR 8 million for investment by Telem to improve internet access on the Caribbean island of St Maarten.

The long-term loan is the first ever engagement by the European Investment Bank in St Maarten and will allow the entire copper fixed network to be replaced by optic fibre and upgrade Telem’s network to high-speed broadband internet services.

Finance contracts to unlock EIB support were signed in Phillipsburg by Pim van Ballekom, Vice President of the European Investment Bank responsible for the Caribbean.

The European Investment Bank is pleased to support this transformational project to improve communications between St. Maarten and the rest of the world. We are pleased that this new investment by Telem will enable high-speed internet to be provided in schools, libraries and hospitals on the island. Once operational the improved network will not only revolutionise internet connections, but also allow smart meters to better manage scare water and electricity resources in St Maarten.” said Pim van Ballekom, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and owned directly by the 28 member states of the European Union, including the Government of the Netherlands.

Over the last 5 years the EIB, has provided more than EUR 15 billion for telecom investment across Europe and around the world. This has included supporting better internet connections provided by Reggefiber it he Netherlands, increasing mobile coverage in Brazil and improving mobile internet speeds in Colombia. The EIB’s support for a submarine cable connecting east Africa and the Seychelles to the rest of the world has shown how communications transforms business opportunities, personal contact, as well as reduces the costs.

Vice President van Ballekom is currently leading a high-level European Investment Bank delegation on a regional visit to Barbados, the Dominican Republic and St. Maarten.

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