Bermuda Information & Communication Technology
Bermuda’s economy to a large extent depends on up to date, resilient and affordable Information & Communications Technology (ICT). Without such technological support, the international business in Bermuda would cease to operate, and all access to online information, services and products would disappear in no time.
The Bermuda Telephone Company Limited (BTCL) was set up in December 1886. The first telephone exchange opened in Hamilton City in July 1887. That time, BTCL was the only operator and had just 12 customers. Today the number of ICT operators and their scale of operation in Bermuda tells a very different story. Here is an account:
E-readiness from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is a measure of a country's ability to implement ICT and used for economic and social benefits. In 2009, EIU ranked Bermuda at #21 out of 70 countries and Bermuda emerged above Japan, Italy and Spain, and just below Germany. This is a significant achievement for a country of 21 sq. mile area and about 65,000 residents.
Bermuda now has four undersea fiber optic cable systems that provide huge capacity in terms of bandwidth and also significant amount of redundancy to ensure adequate security against data loss and unavailability. And the sub-marine cable systems are:
1) Challenger: Operated by Cable & Co. It connects Bermuda to Rhode Islands;
2) Atlantica-1: Operated by Globenet/Oi. It connects to Tuckerton NJ, and Fortaleza Brazil.
3) CBUS: Operated by Cable & Wireless. It connects Bermuda with Tortola BVI and then onward through Caribbean with Miami;
4) Gemini: Operated by Cable & Wireless. Connects to Manasquan, NJ.
Cell Phone Services in Bermuda
Bermuda has two cell phone (mobile) service providers - CellOne and Digicel. They both provide network services to residential as well as domestic & international businesses. In 2011, CellOne launched the 4G HSPA+ wireless services which is the first and the only 4G network in the island.
Voice, Internet & Data Services
There are several operators in Bermuda for internet, data & voice services. They include Tele Bermuda International, Logic Communications, Link Bermuda, Northrock Communications and Transact Limited.
Logic Communications is one of the leaders in MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching) technology which enables them to transmit voice, data and video through the same network. This gives them great economy of scale while maintaining the required quality of service. The clients are also able to prioritize on the type of traffic they want.
One of the key strengths of TeleBermuda International is their solutions for voice and data services to both local and international business. They also offer fully secured and environmentally controlled Tier-III data center services to clients who want to keep their primary or backup network servers at the center and receive managed services. The company is also active in offering public wi-fi services in areas such the Royal Naval Dockyard, which is the main cruise ship port in Bermuda.
There are Local exchange Carriers (LECs) that offer the 'last mile' service, i.e. they bridge the gap between the local consumers and the main providers of Voice, Internet & Data services. Bermuda Telephone Company (BTC) is one such LEC which has been active for over 100 years. They have recently started offering Ethernet based network known as Metro Ethernet Network.
This is a cost efficient way for businesses to use scalable bandwidth that can go up to as high as 10Gbps. It uses cloud computing and provides a great solution to business that require both high performance and bandwidth at a reasonable cost compared to broadband technology. BTC also offers Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Services to businesses.
Another LEC is Quantum Communications who provide services in Hamilton City (the capital of Bermuda).
Information Technology (IT) in Bermuda
Having struggled long with capacity constraints and continuos requirements for upgrades of technology & applications, Bermuda based businesses now have a nice alternative of Managed Service Providers (MSP) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Both these options allow the clients to get rid of the ever increasing Capex requirements for IT infrastructure and rather use the infrastructure and services offered by the several providers in the island. It also allows the businesses to worry less about keeping pace with technology and its operations, and rather focus on their core business.
One of such well known MSPs in Bermuda is QuoVadis. They provide both Managed Services and IaaS in the fields of IT and Communications. They have three high performance data centers in Bermuda. The latest one SecureCenter was launched in 2011 and follows Tier-III standards. The company allows the businesses to rapidly deploy IT & Tele Communication Infrastructures such as servers & storage as well as security.
The MSPs and IaaS providers are supported by Voice/Data/Internet service providers.
Bermuda's critical infrastructures are protected by experienced establishments like Emergency Measures Organization and Bermuda Regiment. These are military bodies who are trained to protect the critical assets during emergency situations.
Statistics of ICT Usage in Bermuda
Here are some statistics on household use of computers and Internet in Bermuda. Over 90% households have computers. About 84% of them have access to internet with vast majority having high-speed broadband access.
On Tele-communication, cell phone usage in Bermuda is very high, with 94% of households having mobile devices. There is also a wide scale use of smart phones like Blackberries by residents even for non-business purpose.
The use of information and tele communication technology in Bermuda's business sector is almost universal. All businesses use desktops and 85% of them additionally provide laptops to their employees. Almost all (95%) have high speed access to internet with 18% having T1 lines or even greater.
When it comes to competency of professionals, 58% fall into moderate and high technology competence categories. Many companies have also developed their proprietary software to create leading edge services over their competitors and demonstrating great skills in innovative software development.
For the different types of IT jobs being offered in the island, checkout Bermuda IT Jobs
2) Check out Bermuda Economy
to know all about economic factors and trends in Bermuda.