A new submarine fiber optic cable scheduled to be connected by late 2014 will increase Ecuador’s Internet capacity and speed by a factor of 160.
The new cable, being installed by Pacific Caribbean Cable System and paid for by a consortium of Internet, telephone and television cable providers, will run directly from Florida to the west coast of Ecuador.
According to Topic Tomislav, president of Telconet Ecuador, the new cable will increase Internet connection speeds and lower costs. “Our Internet will be comparable to that in the U.S. and Euorpe,” he said. He added that the cable will use the latest technology supplied by the French company, Alcatel. "The system uses fiber optic wires that are thinner than human hairs.
Currently, Ecuador is served by two cables, one from the Caribbean, the other from Chile. Tomislav says the cables are 12 years old and use outdated technology.
Ecuadorian soldier killed on Colombian border
Colombian FARC rebels killed one Ecuadorean solider and wounded another on Thursday. Five rebels were killed in the firefight, just inside Ecuadorian territory, north of Esmeraldas.
Colombian rebels regularly cross into Ecuador to escape pursuing Colombian troops and have occasionally clashed with Ecuadorian troops.
On Friday, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino asked Colombia to step up its border security, "because this incident indicates they are insufficient." Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos sent a message to Ecuadorian authorities, regretting the death of the Ecuadorian soldier.
During his weekly television and radio broadcase, President Rafael Correa criticized the FARC rebels, saying that they had become “thugs” and their cause has lost all meaning.
"They say they are fighting for justice and equality but those days are long over. Today, they are just killers,” Correa said. “Ecuador will respond with all the force necessary to keep them out of our country.”
Foreign liquor to be labeled
By October, all imported liquor, beer and wine entering Ecuador will bear a lablel identifying the country or origin and verifying that import tax has been paid.
According to the Ecuador Foreign Trade Commission, the label will also assure that the bottles are properly sealed and have not been tampered with.
Three tax increased on imported liquor have raised prices by as much as 250% since 2007, according to distributors and bar owners. Distributors also report that the new taxes have reduced imports by about 20%.