The government has initiated negotiations with Tokelau and Tuvalu over the possibility of connecting the three countries by submarine cable.
The discussion was held during the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (P.I.T.A) 2017 with Samoa’s delegation being led by the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i.
It was a busy time for regional submarine cable connectivity negotiations, in addition to the announcement of the Manatua Cable consortium between French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa.
But P.I.T.A 2017 was even more significant as it saw the strengthening of ties between Samoa, Tokelau and Tuvalu with the commencement of discussions to connect the three countries by submarine cable.
The goal is to look at ways to improve I.C.T in general for the three countries.
Minister Afamasaga said the discussions are important for Samoa.
“These discussions have been a positive step forward in strengthening Samoa’s ties with our neighboring islands to create a real and tangible regional partnership,” he said.
“It is expected that a standalone Tokelau-Tuvalu submarine cable connecting to Samoa whereby international connectivity will be provided via the Tui-Samoa cable system linking Samoa to Suva Fiji then onwards to U.S.A or NZ/Australia.
“I believe it is the Polynesian Leaders Group (P.L.G) vision to connect all the Polynesian islands in order to create economic and social development for our people”
Part of Samoa’s presentation was to provide a substantive update on the progress of the Tui Samoa cable.
“The government of Samoa is pleased to advise that the Tui-Samoa project is on track, with work already underway at the beach manholes and Cable Landing Stations in both Upolu and Savai’i,” said Afamasaga.
“Another important milestone was the commencement of the marine route survey for the 1,470 km Tui-Samoa Cable with, the survey to be completed by early May 2017.”