P.M. talks Cable with Tahiti, Cook Islands

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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PACIFIC CABLE PROGRESS: Cook Islands P.M. Henry Puna, P.M. Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and the President of French Polynesia, Tagaloa Eduard Fritch after the Polynesian Cable Project Leaders meeting yesterday.

PACIFIC CABLE PROGRESS: Cook Islands P.M. Henry Puna, P.M. Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and the President of French Polynesia, Tagaloa Eduard Fritch after the Polynesian Cable Project Leaders meeting yesterday.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is in New Zealand.

Tuilaepa is leading a delegation from Samoa to a meeting with the President of French Polynesia, Tagaloa Eduard Fritch, Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna and New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tupa’i Murray McCully.

The leaders met yesterday in Auckland to discuss the Cable Project in a bid to improve internet connectivity in Samoa.

Tuilaepa is accompanied by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i and the Chairman of Samoa Submarine Cable Company Limited, Pepe Fiaailetoa Fruean. 

The meeting is another step forward in Samoa's efforts to get the Tui Samoa Cable project completed.

During a recent interview, Minister Afamasaga said the government was in negotiations with Tahiti and Cook Islands.

“This year we have the Tui Samoa happening and we hope to land it,” he said. 

 “But we are also talking with other cables because we can’t just rely on Tui Samoa." 

“We can’t just rely on the route coming from Fiji because the question is what happens if something cuts off from that cable?" 

AT THE MEETING: Polynesian leaders during the meeting in Auckland yesterday.
AT THE MEETING: Polynesian leaders during the meeting in Auckland yesterday.

"What happens when all of a sudden something accidentally drops on the cable and then cuts the connectivity?" 

“We need a restoration cable. So we are talking with Tahiti, Cook Islands and the government of New Zealand because they play a part in that Pacific Cable Project (P.C.P.)." 

 “Samoa wants to be a part of that too. We will talk to the Tahitians and all the stakeholders of their cable so we can be part of it because we need a plan in terms of connectivity and communication.” 

The Tui-Samoa cable is an 8 terabyte system which will connect Samoa (Upolu and Savaii), the Territories of Wallis & Fatuna and Vanua Levu to Suva on the Fiji mainland. 

The government through the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (S.S.C.C.) formally announced its commencement of commercial negotiations to host a spur off the 12,500km Trans-Pacific Southern Cross Next connecting Australia and New Zealand (and also Samoa) to the Los Angeles in California, U.S.A.

The Tui Samoa Cable project aims to deliver low-cost broadband services to Samoa and strengthen the regulatory and legal environment for information and communications technology. 

When completed, the Cable is expected to deliver Samoa a wide range of improvements to public services, including an e-health patient information system to improve patient care within the Samoan health system, as well as significant benefits to education, business, tourism, agriculture, as well as disaster planning and response. 

The cable is expected to reach land in Apia and Savai’i in early 2018.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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