Nine years ago, Cox Communications and Cablemás, the second-largest cable company in Mexico, recognized the demand for high-quality video and data reception for every cable customer in San Diego and Tijuana. Explosive growth in the maquiladora industry following the NAFTA agreement fueled demand for fast, dependable data transmission. By 1992, fiber optic technology made it possible to transport high quality signals over long distances. Vision married technology and demand, and the result was the U.S.-Mexico Interconnect Project, the first-ever fiber optic connection between the United States and Mexico.
The fiber connection was constructed just in time to offer the San Diego Padres season opener to Cablemás customers last year, thus establishing the Mexican cable company as Channel 4 San Diego's first international affiliate.
In addition to providing high-quality television signals and specialized programs that reach both sides of the border, the U.S.-Mexico Interconnect Project provides high-speed data connection between universities, governments, private industry and other entities in both counties, as well as transporting high-speed Internet access into Mexico. The connection became operational in April 2000 when Cox Communications activated a video link to Cablemás.
Cox Communications provides connectivity via fiber optic cable from the San Diego Super Computer Center, located at the University of California San Diego, to Tijuana. The connection is then uplinked from Tijuana to Mexico City by the Corporation Universitaria para el Desarrollo de Internet (CUDI), a consortium of Mexican universities.
The first link has proved so successful that Cox Communications and Cablemás have completed the design for a second "virtual border crossing." The second link will provide additional capacity along with a redundant route for increased reliability. The U.S.-Mexico Interconnet Project will be the only network with the capability to offer the following international information services between the United States and Mexico:
Distance learning and research exchange between universities, museums and scientific institutions;
Data links between city and state governments on both sides of the border;
High-quality image and programming to television stations on both sides of the Border;
High-capacity/high-speed telephone interconnects, and Internet access;
Faster communication for private industry;
Connectivity of hospitals and clinics via "Telemedicine"-MRI/CAT Scan/X-Ray diagnosis.
More than a dozen U.S. and Mexican government agencies were involved in this historic cross-border cooperative effort, and Cox Communications is proud to have partnered with Cablemás in order to shepherd the project to completion.