By Donal O’Donovan, Independent.ie

BUSINESSMAN Denis O’Brien has revealed plans to personally invest as much as $450m on a network of undersea telecoms cables linking dozens of countries in the Caribbean.

The Digicel founder outlined the plan, which could connect up to 40 countries, in a wide ranging interview with Bloomberg Television’s Vonnie Quinn.

“One project that we are doing off balance sheet, which I am going to do personally, we are going to lay submarine cable  to about 30 countries. That project is about $350m, but we’re thinking about upscaling it to about $450 to go up to about 40 countries in the Caribbean region, putting high capacity, modern, submarine networks into those countries,” he said.

Mr O’Brien’s main Digicel business operates telecoms and communications businesses in 31 markets across the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. However, the submarine cable investment is being done in a personal capacity, separate to the group.

“That would be a personal project,” he said.

In addition Digicel itself has invested $1bn over the past 18 months, including rolling out fibre to the home across markets where the group operates, he said.

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