The marine survey ahead of the Tui Samoa Cable has officially concluded.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi and the Minister of Communication, Information and Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i as well as Samoa Submarine Cable Company Chairman, Fia’ailetoa Pepe Christian Fruean and stakeholders boarded the survey ship, Geo Explorer, docked at Matautu Wharf.
Samoa Submarine Cable Company Chairman, Fia’ailetoa Pepe Christian Fruean said, “ This is a culmination of about six weeks of work.
It started in Fiji, went east and the Wallis and Futuna and then Tuasivi, Savaii and now the landing spot here.
The importance of this is that it has very special equipment which scans the ocean floor, the sea bed to have a look at where the reefs are and rocks in order to lay the cable. “
Surveying the ocean floor is crucial to devise a pathway for the cable to ensure that it will not be damaged.
“Because one of the things we have be careful about is that we don’t have different levels in the ocean in terms of laying on top of a reef that can cause our cable to be damaged.”
The survey also helps map the best pathway as to not disrupt the fragile system in the ocean.
The S.S.C.C. Rep on board Jean Louis Lamy, noted the importance of finding a clear pathway so as to not disturb the environment down below.
“It’s quite (eco) friendly to be honest,” Mr. Lamy told the Samoa Observer.
“We try to avoid all the patches and put the cable on the side.”
According to Mr. Lamy, living organisms will adapt to the cable.
“Even after a certain time, the coral will grow over and integrate with the cable if the cable doesn’t move. If it moves, it will cause some damage, but most of the time it doesn’t move because it is heavy,” he said.
“Even fish like them. It’s tiny but it makes a little protection and they like it. And when you bury the cable they love it because it’s a depression.”
“Of course you need an impact study but most times, the conclusion is that the impact is very limited.”
“We’re checking with the drone flying over the reefs. We try to find the balance on everything. We try to find where there is no coral.”
“The purpose of this survey is to scan the sea floor to determine the most feasible route.
That work is completed and they will take this technical data and input this supplier, Acatel Submarine Networks, and they will make the final plan for the layout,“ Fia’ailetoa added.
The Samoa Submarine Cable Company is targeting mid December for the cable to be up and running.
The Chairman said, “We’re expecting the boat that is to lay the cable will arrive in September and it will start in Suva and then commence the laying to Samoa.
We expect the ship to be in our waters by the middle of November, after which, we will start the testing.
Hopefully before Christmas we will have the cable commercially ready for Samoa to benefit from the fast speeds and affordable pricing to all the people of Samoa. “
“There’s also comprehensive testing which means that they will actually be using it under a testing environment with the expectation of December when it will actually be on.
We’re trying to improve the dates so that we have the benefits before Christmas so that our people will have faster affordable internet,” he concluded.