TSTT and E-IDCOT partner on Tobago ICT investment

Above: The proposed datacenter to be built at Cove Estate. Computer model image courtesy TSTT.

The Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT) and the Eco-Industrial Development Company of Tobago (E-IDCOT) Ltd will collaborate to create a major datacenter in Tobago.

The new joint venture company, formed to construct and manage the tier 3 data centre, will offer data storage, back-up, disaster recovery and other high-end security and advanced telecommunications services to companies renting office facilities at the new Cove Eco-Industrial and Business Park in Tobago, as well as other local, regional and international companies.

TSTT, with 75% ownership, will provide the ICT technical expertise and E-IDCOT, with 25% holdings, will bring management oversight and administrative proficiency to the data centre.  The data centre, the first to be built in Tobago, will be located at the 56.7 hectares (140 acres) Eco-Industrial and Business Park in the Cove Estate at Canoe Bay Road, which was built and is managed by E-IDCOT, and is situated in the southwestern peninsular, the most vibrant commercial district in Tobago.

Rakesh Goswami TSTT’s Executive Vice President Strategic Alliance, Enterprise and Tobago Operations (SET), explained that TSTT has extensive knowledge and experience in deploying fibre throughout their telecommunications network and for clients, as well as in building and managing data centres. 

He said, “TSTT already has international TIA certification for its Tier 3 level data centre, in addition to 6 high level data rooms, so we have extensive credible experience that is being brought to bear on the Cove project.”

Rakesh Goswami
Rakesh Goswami

Goswami assured that the data centre will have world-class standards and added, “We envision the Cove Data Centre to be the ideal solution for Tobago-based organizations, as well as for Trinidad, Caribbean and Latin American customers.

As a Tier 3, TIA certified data centre with a guarantee of 99.982% availability, the services provided will cover the full spectrum of the most requested data centre products including storage, back-up, co-location, disaster recovery and business continuity, add-on services and virtual machines, either rental or on-demand computer infrastructure for companies. 

In addition the data centre will have redundancy in power and storage, and high security features to eliminate the risks from fire, theft, earthquakes, floods and hurricanes.”

To support the data centre, E-IDCOT commissioned the installation of a fibre optic network throughout the Cove Business Park to provide a comprehensive and modern telecommunications infrastructure. This will facilitate high-speed data communications, voice, video streaming, teleconferencing and higher-end ICT applications in a high level security environment to protect the information and products of the park’s tenants.

“The ICT infrastructure being deployed in the Cove represents an investment of approximately TT$30M and we are very excited about this joint venture of 2 indigenous companies and for the opportunity to participate in the economic transformation and development of Tobago.,” said Mr Goswami.

The possibilities that can evolve from utilizing this data centre are boundless due to the affordable rates that will be offered.  Companies can relocate and centralize their data bases there, as well as increase the size of their storage.

This will provide synergies which will allow these companies to do more with the massive amount of information they are now capturing, such as additional market research capabilities which can be used to gain a better understanding of their customers and an increase in competiveness.”

Bernard Mitchell
Bernard Mitchell

Bernard Mitchell, E-IDCOT’s Chief Executive Officer explained why the planned data centre will have significant economic development opportunities for Tobago.  He noted, “E-IDCOT’s core mandate is to lead the development and diversification of Tobago’s economy beyond tourism. 

Where the ICT sector is concerned there are challenges in terms of the overall value proposition.  The data centre is critical because there is no facility like it in Tobago and this needs to be addressed to establish a robust ICT industry.  We see the data centre as being pivotal in the exposure of the island, by putting Tobago on the world map with respect to a data centre.” 

Mitchell continued, “But it is also an avenue to propel the growth of the ICT industry in Tobago and increase the number of persons with careers in ICT.  We are also developing the animation industry in Tobago with certification training and the establishment of a company that will offer animation services.  A critical dimension of this is to have a robust ICT infrastructure, in terms of reliability and redundancy, as well as storage and its support services.”

Mitchell welcomed the partnership with TSTT and said, “After going through the tender process, TSTT came out on top.  We see TSTT as a strong capable partner and we look forward to working with them to make this a success in Trinidad and Tobago and across the Caribbean. 

Through this partnership we will ensure that we have the right caliber of managers and technical persons to staff the data centre as a tier 3 facility at international standards.”

The tier 3 data centre is scheduled to begin construction in January 2017 and become fully operational by June 2018.  Mitchell remarked, “We have been building momentum over the last 2 years.  The Cove Business Park is already operational with tenants and the data centre and fibre deployment are the next steps which will create a gravitational pull for the development of the ICT sector in Tobago.”