Building the Caribbean digital economy bit by bit

In partnership with Digicel, three small island states from the Caribbean: Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent, started the development of a future-proofed broadband infrastructure that will connect homes, schools, government offices, and businesses to each other and the rest of the world by 2020. This project received technical and financial assistance from the World Bank.

In July 2018, through the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) as coordinator, the three countries signed contracts with Digicel in order to build up government and educational networks, and a new submarine cable.

The innovative contracting process and resulting public private partnership (PPP) structure is a first for digital infrastructure in the region. It is also the first project of this magnitude, requiring approximately USD$45 million from governments and private partners. This allowed all three governments to obtain substantial economies of scale, allowing lower pricing and better quality of service than if they had purchased the networks separately.