The government took another step forward in its bid to fast track the Samoa’s digital economy yesterday.
It happened at Vaivase-tai where the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (S.S.C.C.) broke ground to begin the construction of the Tui-Samoa Submarine Cable landing station.
Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, hailed the development.
“It will provide school children in rural villages the same access to information that children in developed countries take for granted, it will provide local Samoan businesses the platform to promote their goods and services and compete in international markets, and it will also allow our Government to fast track our National Digital Economy Strategy in order to provide eGovernment services to our people,” she said.
“Today is the commencement of commercial negotiations between S.S.C.C. and Southern Cross Cables in relation to Southern Cross’s Project Next.
“This is an important step towards positioning Samoa as a submarine cable hub in the region and will further enhance the prospects of winning the rights to also land the Pacific Connectivity Project submarine cable from Tahiti at this cable landing station.
“The government of Samoa and S.S.C.C look forward to working with Southern Cross Cables to be your reliable and trusted partner and to fulfill our ambition to be the cable hub for central Polynesia”.
The Deputy Prime Minister thanked Samoa’s development partners – the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the Australian Government for their support of the project as well as the S.S.C.C equity investors, the Southern Cross Networks for the opportunity to develop Samoa as a hub for the region.
The Chief Executive Officer of Southern Cross Network, Anthony Briscoe said he is pleased to be working in partnership with the Government of Samoa.
“The continued need for greater connectivity in order to bridge the digital divide for the Pacific is core to Southern Cross involvement in the Pacific region,” said Anthony.
“We are pleased to work with Samoa as a hub to help them enhance broadband connectivity for Region.”
Pepe Fia'ailetoa Fruean, Chairperson of S.S.C.C, said the project aims at bringing fast, reliable and affordable internet services to the people of Samoa.
“Information is power and S.S.C.C. is pleased to be the vehicle to empower economic and social development by providing communities access to information and services that will help improve their people’s lives and also accelerate I.C.T development and growth in the region.
“S.S.C.C is fully supportive of Governments plans to position Samoa as a hub for the region and Southern Cross is an extraordinary partner who will help deliver that vision.”
The Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, kicked off the project by digging the first shovel into the ground. He was joined by Anthony Briscoe, representatives from the World Bank and the Government of Australia.
The Tui-Samoa cable is an 8 terabit system which will connect Samoa (Upolu and Savai’i), the Territories of Wallis & Futuna and Vanua Levu to Suva on the Fiji mainland. The Tui-Samoa ground breaking also signalled Samoa’s intention to become a hub in the region by also announcing its partnership with Southern Cross Networks.
The Government of Samoa 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 & New Zealand (and also Samoa) to the Los Angeles in California, USA.