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Study Looks at the State of Telecom in the Caribbean

July 22, 2015

For those who wonder if Haiti has rebuilt from the earthquake that leveled the country several years back, a recent survey of telecommunications across the Caribbean might tell the tale. And the answer is no, Haiti still is woefully behind on infrastructure.

In terms of fixed-line telephone density, Haiti scored the lowest among Caribbean countries, according to a study by ICT Pulse, with only 4 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. It was little better with mobile connectivity, with only 64 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Its mobile broadband use also is low, with considerably less than 0 subscriptions per 100 people.

Overall, found ICT Pulse, both fixed-line and cellular voice services experienced a steady but slight decline in the Caribbean this year, with an increase in fixed line broadband. There are roughly 27 subscription lines per 100 inhabitants for fixed-line voice across the Caribbean, 108 subscription per 100 inhabitants for cellular, and 16 subscriptions per 100 for fixed broadband services.

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In terms of fixed-line voice, the highest subscriber densities were reported in Montserrat, with approximately 60 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. The Cayman Islands followed with almost 56 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, and Barbados had 53. Those with the lowest densities were Belize, with 7 subscriptions per 100, Jamaica with 9 per 100, and of course the lowest density of the bunch, Haiti.

For cellular, 14 of the 21 countries examined in the Caribbean reported mobile/cellular subscriptions densities of more than 100 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. The highest subscription levels were found in the Anguilla, at roughly 180 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, followed by Suriname with 171 subscriptions, and the Virgin Islands with 170 per 100 inhabitants. Lowest densities of cellular were Cuba, with approximately 22 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, Belize with 50, and Haiti with 64 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.

With fixed broadband, the Cayman Islands reported the highest subscription density, with nearly 40 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Barbados, the next highest, has 27 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, and Montserrat has 24. Countries with the fewest fixed broadband connections in the Caribbean were Haiti, Jamaica and Guyana—the latter two with roughly 5 and 6 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.

Haiti has a long way still to go. At least according to its ranking against other Caribbean countries when it comes to telecom.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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