'By Samoans for Samoa'

By Diedre Fanene 06 April 2016, 12:00AM

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has hailed the Samoa Connectivity Project as an all Samoa initiative, owned by Samoa to benefit the people of Samoa.

Speaking during the official signing ceremony of the investors for the Samoa Submarine Cable Company, under the Samoa Connectivity Project, Tuilaepa said the project is a step in the right direction for Samoa.

“Samoa’s new submarine cable is a key infrastructure project that can deliver extraordinary benefits across Samoa’s education, health, business and tourism sectors for decades to come,” said Tuilaepa.

“The project is expected to bring economic and social benefits to Samoa with significantly more reliable and affordable internet connectivity.

“The improved connectivity will support the country’s businesses and tourism sectors, and enable improved access to information on health, education and job opportunities.

“It will also help families stay connected with the more than 100,000 Samoans who live overseas. In addition, the project will provide technical assistance to the Office of the Regulator in Samoa.”

The signing held at the Central Bank of Samoa building was well attended by Cabinet Ministers, Associate Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, representatives of the Equity Investors, Digicel, C.S.L, S.L.A.C, S.N.P.F and U.T.O.S.

According to a press statement issued yesterday, the Samoa Submarine Cable Company is an innovative case of the Private Public Partnership. 

The US$49million project will be carried out as a private public partnership, with financing from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the newly established Samoa Submarine Cable Company. Samoa Submarine Cable Company (S.S.C.C) is a marriage of Samoa telecom carriers, Bluesky, C.S.L and Digicel and Samoan financial investors, S.N.P.F, U.T.O.S and S.L.A.C.

When implemented, S.S.C.C will strengthen Samoa’s communications links to the world. The cable will span 1,300km linking Samoa’s largest islands, Upolu and Savai’i, to the Southern Cross Cable Network in Suva, Fiji. 

The cable is expected to be in service by mid-2017. The decision to build a cable from Samoa to Fiji required significant investigations and study. Funding from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has enabled Samoa to deploy an expert consultant team. This team have evaluated more than eight route options for the new cable. The decision to build a cable from Samoa to Fiji was by far the best choice for Samoa.

The new cable will have over 3 Terabits of capacity and the option to go 8 Terabits. To give you an idea of how big that is, the new cable will have enough capacity to support all of the international capacity in place between Australia and the rest of the world today.

The new cable will support Samoa's demand for internet connectivity for many decades.

All Samoans will enjoy the benefits with the enhanced connectivity between Savaii, Upolu and the rest of the world.

Finally, Samoa's new submarine cable can embrace and assist communications for the fellow islanders in American Samoa and potentially the people of Wallis and Futuna Islands plus Vanua Levu and the large Northern Island of Fiji.

By Diedre Fanene 06 April 2016, 12:00AM

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