Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has hailed the landing of the Tui Samoa Cable as a major milestone for Samoa.
At Moata’a yesterday where the cable reached the shore, Tuilaepa said it is a step closer towards faster, more reliable and affordable Internet.
The landing was celebrated during a ceremony organised by the Submarine Cable Company Limited, with the blowing of the conch shell to mark the event.
The Samoa Submarine Cable Company Limited (S.S.C.C) and Alcatel Submarine Networks (A.S.N) began the loading of the 1,470 km Tui-Samoa Cable in July.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa cut the golden buoy before congratulating everyone involved.
“Today we are witnessing the next milestone of the Tui Samoa Cable landing here, at Moata’a and the commencement of the 1,500 kilometers cable laying to Suva, Fiji with spurs to Tuasivi and Savaii, the Islands and Wallis and Futuna and to Savusavu on Vanualevu, Fiji,” he said.
“The strategy for the government of Samoa sets out the government’s vision to improve the lives of our people.
“And the Tui Samoa Cable is one of the key enablers that will help us achieve that goal.”
The Prime Minister commended Samoa Submarine Cable who has been at the forefront in the development.
“The Samoa Submarine Cable Company has been at the forefront in developing this regional connectivity project, and regional partnership such as this project, involving Fiji and Wallis & Futuna Islands, have given a physical presence to our Pacific leader’s vision for regional cooperation,” Tuilaepa said (read his speech in full on page 12).
“The success of the Tui-Samoa partnership has provided the Government with the confidence to facilitate new partnership amongst other Pacific Islands for new submarine cable projects. The next exciting project is the Manatua Cable linking Tahiti, the Cook Islands and Niue to Samoa.
“Not to mention a bold regional project called the “One Pacific Cable” which could potentially link Micronesia and Melanesia to Polynesia and involve 10 island nations (Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Republic of Marshal Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tokelau and Samoa).”
Internet connectivity, Tuilaepa said, is critical.
“It is a key driver in realizing the ambitions of the United Nations sustainable development goals for Smaller Islands Developing States including Samoa.
“As we strive to ensure that we do not leave anyone of any place behind.
“This is especially true when only 18 percent of people in the least developing countries use the internet, compared with 82 percent in developed countries.”
According to the Prime Minister, the Tui Samoa will ensure that Wallis and Futuna and Vanualevu Fiji will not be left behind.
“Connectivity is a very vital ingredient of structural transformation and sustainable developments and critical to the efforts of small islands developing states to graduate from least developed status.
“Connectivity will be crucial to building resilience in our economy so that we can tackle complex issues we are confronted with including Climate Change.”
He pointed out the critical need to improve, National fiber optic infrastructure, least developed countries relies mostly on mobile broadband network to deliver reliable broadband internet to users and businesses, so there remains a need for Samoa to continue to invest in wireless internet infrastructure.
At the beginning of his special remarks the Prime Minister pointed out to the complaints towards the project.
“The project is significantly important, rather than wasting breath on discrediting the good projects implemented by the government.”
As reported earlier, the Tui Samoa Cable will deliver a capacity of at least 8 Terabits-persecond (Tbit/s) using 100 Gbit/s transmission technology. The system will also have extensions to the islands of Vanua Levu – Savusavu (Fiji) and Wallis and Futuna.
Following the formalities there were also presentations of souvenirs to shareholders and financial partners.