New fibre optic cable for Gozo expected to increase informatics activities
The installation of a second fibre optic cable between Malta and Gozo has been launched with the Government announcing this will be accomplished by an Italian company. The cable is intended to increase the digital structure in Gozo and thus increase the potential of more informatics work. This will involve a Government investment of €3.5 million.
The Italian company Elettra, which is a subsidiary of the French company Orange – a specialist in telecommunications – will be developing the new cable. Company President Didier Dillard said this second fibre optic cable will also provide Gozo with domestic benefits.
“This project will bring connectivity to Gozo island and that is something important nowadays because it will guarantee that all people living in Gozo, all people visiting Gozo will have perfect connectivity for all their internet usage – for all their mobile usage at any time of the year and with perfect quality,” he said.
In launching the project, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat presented an outline of Gozo’s economic development.
He said that over the last six years Gozo’s economic development had grown at a fast pace and now the Gross Domestic Product is in the region of €470 million. Dr Muscat said that by last October employment in Gozo had reached 12,500. He explained that since 2013, ten new companies began operations at the Xewkija Industrial Estate. He added that Malta Enterprise approved 15 new projects in Gozo that between them will employ 100 persons and involve a private investment of €1.6 million.
The PM said that now the Government is investing €3.5 for a second fibre optic cable and together with the building of a tunnel will continue to sustain Gozo’s economy and improve communications between the two islands.
”This is why the Government is addressing this reality by investing €3.5million in national funds for an ancillary cable that connects the two islands. This project will help develop Gozo’s innovation hub in Xewkija into a truly advanced technology location that enables Gozo-based companies to take their output to the next level.”
Malta Enterprise CEO, Mario Galea, said that as soon as ground and sea studies are completed, the physical work will commence on the cable. He said the aim is to complete the project within a year of the completion of the necessary studies. He explained the new cable will enhance digital developments in Gozo because it will no longer depend on just one cable.
He said Malta Enterprise is also working on a digital hub to attract further operations to Gozo while Gozo’s hospital is being upgraded and together with Barts Hospital Medical School and these will require digital connection that is resilient and stable and cannot just depend on one cable.
The proposed route for the cable is a start at Żebbiegħ, through Għajn Tuffieħa while crossing to Gozo from the zone known as Tal-Fessej to limits of Mġarr ix-Xini and continuing to Xewkija.