Fiesta 1st to be connected to IT&E underground fiber optic

Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan has become the first hotel on island to have a taste of IT&E’s faster connection using the underground fiber optic cable that they are currently installing around the island.

Tan Holdings and IT&E executives marked the significant event in a ceremonial ribbon cutting yesterday.

A commemorative plaque was also presented to Tan Holdings president Jerry Tan for Fiesta Resort being “the first commercial user of fiber optic technology in the CNMI.”

With the introduction of this technology, higher speed Internet can be experienced by patrons of the hotel.

“We’re very happy we’re the first one on Saipan,” Fiesta Resort general manager Abner Acosta said.

“We chose Fiesta because they were ready first. They’ve been a good customer of ours for a very long time,” IT&E chief operating officer John Compton said, “It happened rather naturally actually, they needed it and about the time that we were finishing our work going by the hotel, it was relatively easy for us to do it.”

“They were very agreeable, very cooperative because there are some work that we have to do inside the hotel to connect everything together,” Compton said.

10 times faster

Compton said, compared to the copper DSL that they currently have which has a physical limit of 10 megabytes per second, the fiber optic cable lines can handle up to 1 gigabyte per second or 1,000 mbps.

Acosta described their updated connection as “10 times faster than the regular digital subscriber line.”

“We’ve had it for four days and you can really see the difference,” Acosta said, “I’m sure our guests are very happy with this development.”

Acosta said many of the tourists on Saipan are disappointed with the kind of connection speed that we have on island.

“That has come up with our surveys with guests, one of the disappointments—not only here but around Saipan—is slow Internet,” Acosta said.

For Tan, having this technology is not only an upgrade that is beneficial to Fiesta Resort but to the whole CNMI as a destination.

“The main reason is really for the experience of our guests,” Tan said. “Their home country and everywhere they go, in other destinations, high-speed Internet is a must.”

“That’s what they expect because high-speed Internet is what they get,” he added.

Tan said it is important not to disappoint tourists and continue the same speed that they enjoy back home. He also noted that communication is a big part of traveling nowadays.

“It’s really about us as a destination. Eventually in other hotels, restaurants, everywhere tourists will enjoy the same high-speed experience that they experience everyday in their lives so we can make sure that they really are happy tourists when they come here,” Tan said.

Connecting everyone

This project being undertaken by IT&E is expected to spread out through the entire island as well as to Tinian and Rota within a five-year timeline.

“We are building an island- wide fiber optic cable network that will eventually replace our copper network,” Compton said.

“Eventually this is going to cover the whole island and Tinian and Rota as well,” he added.

IT&E currently has three crews working seven days a week on various locations on Saipan to install the fiber optic cables.

According to Compton, it will take them “no more than two weeks” to connect another establishment to their fiber optic.

Compton added that not only commercial establishments will get to enjoy the high-speed connectivity of their cable but residents as well.

“They will eventually, we don’t have the equipment for residences yet, its coming, but yes it will absolutely improve the residences,” Compton said.

This article was originally authored by Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon of the Saipan Tribune and published on April 15th 2016. All rights, recognition and acknowledgment belong to the author and the Saipan Tribune.