Tenerife set to become communications nexus


Image: By BiztechAfrica
Tenerife set to become communications nexus

The Council of Tenerife has announced a new initiative that will convert Tenerife into a global hub for communications traffic from Africa, Europe and the Americas.

The objective of the ALIX initiative is to transform Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, into a main link within the global telecommunications network via the development of the neutral Internet access point (or NAP) for Western Africa-Canary Islands, the Island Telecommunications Ring and the CanaLink Project.

As a result of the geographical location of the Canary Islands in a key zone between Latin America, Africa and the rest ofEurope, the Archipelago acts as a privileged tri-continental bridge. Status as a platform between three continents offers many advantages in a number of areas including cultural, social, economic, business spheres. All areas of our daily lives can be benefitted via good management of the location of the Islands within this globalised world.

The Western Africa-Canary Islands Nap (Network Access Point) is the element that will enable Tenerife to exploit its possibilities as a tri-continental platform and bridge, commencing with fundamental issue: communications. The Nap, to be installed in Granadilla, will house various existing submarine cable links along with others that are being prepared both between the Islands and within the Canary Islands-Europe-Africa-Latin America axis.

Therefore, the Council of Tenerife's Western Africa-Canary Islands Nap will act as a neutral data centre that not only serves as a point of concentration and distribution of international connectivity, but also as a base infrastructure for local information technology companies interested in competing overseas, or international companies that wish to operate in Western Africa using Tenerife as a platform, with the legal security afforded by location in the EU, hoping to benefit from the additional fiscal advantages associated with the Canary Islands' status as an Outermost Region.

In order to provide alternatives to internal connections, the Council is creating a fibre-optic cable network that will allow the Island to provide its own infrastructure for voice and data transmission.

The first phase will see the southern zone of Tenerife linked to the facilities of the Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute, using the layout of the roads and motorways on the Island. The second phase will see fibre-optics extended to the north and south-east, also via the road network managed by the Island Corporation.

The Island Telecommunications Ring of Tenerife will also be connected to the Western Africa-Canary Islands Nap.

The CanaLink project is another cornerstone of ALIX. CanaLink will contribute to the end of the monopoly within cable communications. CanaLink is formed by the Telecommunications Technology Institute (IT3) and the neutral submarine cable operator, IslaLink. It is responsible for laying a new cable between Tenerife and Rota (Cadiz), which will result in the liberalisation of the sector.

This submarine cable will avoid failures in data transmission and will afford high levels of quality to telecommunications within the Archipelago. It will fulfil the demands of the various telecommunications operators that operate in the remainder of the national territory that currently have their access to the market of the Canary Islands restricted.

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