Change in Cable Chair role mooted

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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CABLE COMPANY CHAIR: Pepe Christian Fruean.

CABLE COMPANY CHAIR: Pepe Christian Fruean. (Photo: Samoa Observer / File)

The Chairmanship role of the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (S.S.C.C) could be changed – if the Board deems it necessary.

So says the current Chairman, Pepe Fia'ailetoa Fruean, in response to questions about reports a change in the Chairmanship has been mooted.

 “The situation is that there is a rotating process based on the Constitution,” Pepe told the Samoa Observer. 

“So based upon that rotating, after one year, the rotation moves on to the next director. So that will have to be announced when the Board meets probably next month.”

Pepe said the Directors have yet to meet.

“They (directors) hadn’t met to discuss the next step so it’s hard for me to make a statement unless the directors actually meet as one group,” he said.

 “So under the process every year it changes to one or the other.”

Pepe said the Company has several Directors.

 “There are six directors, C.S.L, Bluesky, Digicel, who I represent, the Unit Trust of Samoa, Samoa National Provident Fund and Samoa Life Assurance.

 “So it’s up to the Directors on what is the next step.

“The Directors have to decide whether we follow the process.

“So all the directors have to be in agreement with what is the next step.”

The government has a strong voice in the final decision.

“The decision has to consider the government’s view,” he said.

“They basically own the Cable. The Submarine Cable Company runs the cable on behalf of the government, so the government has a big say, so whatever decision there must be consultations with the government.

“So it’s not a straight forward thing, there are lots of consultations.”

The Samoa Submarine Cable Company, a $US49-million project, is Samoa’s first locally-owned submarine cable company. It was launched in 2015 by the then Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau 

At the time, the Company was viewed as an innovative case of private partnership.

"S.S.C.C. will strengthen Samoa's communication links to the world. The cable will span 1,300 kilometres and link Samoa's largest islands of Upolu and Savai'i to the Southern Cross cable network in Suva, Fiji."

The government said it will mean improved internet for Samoans, while the new cable will also allow existing carriers to reduce internet costs substantially.

The project has been established with financial assistance from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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