St Maarten Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications Ted Richardson witnessed on Tuesday afternoon the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between St. Maarten International Telecommunications Services (SMITCOMS) and the National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands (RCN) related to the Saba, Statia Cable System (SSCS). This reports The Daily Herald. The MOA allows for further arrangements to be made to land the SSCS cable on St. Maarten at the landing point operated by SMITCOMS (beach manhole). A press release on Tuesday night read: “Minister Richardson and members of his Cabinet were very instrumental in facilitating the process in bringing the two signatory parties together, reaching to the point of the signing of the MOA on Tuesday.” An overview was carried out by the Minister and his Cabinet in August to ascertain what had been done in the past. Thereafter, all parties worked diligently leading to the successful signing of the MOA three months later.
The SSCS will bring extra telecommunications capacity for St. Eustatius and Saba, and it will also benefit St. Maarten. The MOA was signed by SMITCOMS Managing Director Eldert Louisa, while Sybren van Dam, signed on behalf of RCN as its Director. Minister Richardson stated on Wednesday, prior to observing the signing by the two aforementioned parties, that Tuesday was an important day for the countries of St. Maarten and the Netherlands, as well as TELEM Group of Companies.
“The issue of the subsea SSCS telecommunications cable has been resolved after lingering for nearly three years. After reviewing what had transpired, I decided to look for a win-win situation for all parties concerned, and this is the result of it. The signing of an MOA represents a win-win for both signatories and for the consumers of the BES islands and St. Maarten,” Richardson said. RCN Director Sybren van Dam said he was very pleased that the problem was resolved and was very glad to have been able to reach an agreement by working together. Louisa stated that he was very happy today as he represented the landing partner, adding that TELEM Group of Companies has the expertise and knowledge, and RCN chose the best party with respect to this endeavour.