SunGlobe Investing $100 Million in Region

SunGlobe Investing $100 Million in Region

Business Editors

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 16, 2000

This article on SunGlobe Fiber Systems Corp. (OTCBB:SGFS) appeared in the Nov. 9, 2000 edition of The San Juan Star, which is published in San Juan, P.R. – Reprinted by permission:

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico.–(THE SAN JUAN STAR)

Nov. 9, 2000 – Florida-based SunGlobe Fiber Systems Corp. will invest more than $100 million in a regional network combining fiber optic and satellite technologies. Through the network, SunGlobe will target small and mid-sized carriers needing infrastructure to provide telephony and high-speed Internet services, SunGlobe President Barry Pasternak said Wednesday.

The network should be up and running by early next year, and the investment will be made over a three-year term, Pasternak told the STAR. SunGlobe is also in the process of adding a satellite to the network at an estimate cost of $200 million. “We’re building three facilities in Fort Lauderdale, Puerto Rico and Panama,” Pasternak told the STAR. “They all will connect to each other, so our capability to provide high-quality service at good prices to our customers will become a reality.” The company has set up a local office and plans to hire approximately 100 employees, including consultants and technical staff, Pasternak said. As part of its business strategy, SunGlobe is focusing its service offering to smaller companies that are seeking to break into the telecom arena by providing high-speed Internet and other digital connections.

The expansion into the rest of the eastern Caribbean calls for SunGlobe’s Puerto Rico staff to work alongside these smaller companies to develop and maintain their high-tech digital infrastructure, Pasternak said. Thus far, SunGlobe has leased capacity on the Americas II fiber optic submarine cable, which is scheduled to be switched on next month. SunGlobe’s plans fall in line with the goals outlined last week by the Telecommunications Regulatory Board regarding Puerto Rico’s ability to become the Caribbean’s “telecom hub.” “Puerto Rico has it all -satellites, marine cables, a 100 percent digital network and four fiber optic rings belonging to the incumbent local exchange company,” said board President Phoebe Forsythe Isales during last week’s CaribeCom conference on technology. “The whole Latin American region can be totally connected using Puerto Rico as the hub,” Forsythe Isales said, noting that the island’s financial stability, stable government and satellite communications add to its function as a hub. At present, at least 10 satellites provide coverage to Puerto Rico: Aurora, Satcom, Galaxy, Tel Star, Echo Star, Morelos, Solidaridad, Brazilsat, Intelsat and Thor. In addition, six marine cables enter Puerto Rico and connect it with the rest of the region aside from the Americas II, namely the Arcos, Florico II, Taino, Antillas I and SAM USA. “The future job market concentration can be in telecom sector instead of agriculture,” Forsythe Isales said, referring to the Latin American economy as a whole. “There is a highly effective, trainable and inexpensive labor force (here). Couple this with using Puerto Rico as a hub, and you have a winning combination,” added Forsythe Isales.

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