Internet cable boosts speed, economy

The establishment of the Tui-Samoa Cable, has dropped the wholesale cost of internet bandwidth by 70 per cent and boosted the Samoan economy by an equivalent USD$50 million, the Prime Minister has revealed. 

The Tui-Samoa submarine cable which connects Apia to Suva, Fiji and has landing stations across other parts of the region was completed last year. 

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, revealed the decrease in wholesale bandwidth prices but also an eight-fold increase in international bandwidth usage at the Digicel Symposium held on Thursday. 

“A quick snapshot of the Tui-Samoa Cable achievements to date, has seen wholesale internet bandwidth prices decrease by over 70 per cent, with an eight times increase in international bandwidth usage which equates to [a positive Gross Domestic Product] impact of five per cent or US$50 million per annum to the Samoan economy,” said Tuilaepa.

The Government said it aimed to be amongst most digitally advanced societies in the Pacific Region with the launching of the Tui-Samoa Cable in February 2018.

He said the cable project will lay the foundation for Samoa’s digital transformation, and may be extended to include domestic connectivity for the Government Ministries and Corporations.

Tuilaepa also revealed the Government’s aims to advance national connectivity extend to the Samoa National Broadband Highway (S.N.B.H.) fibre network, which aims to deliver new connectivity and Government services 

“The Government’s vision is to inspire innovation, introduce citizen-centric, cutting edge digital services, reduce ICT costs, improve productivity, increase our country’s attractiveness to foreign investors,” he said. 

The Prime Minister said he viewed greater internet connectivity as a means of making public services more streamlined and effective, but also a potential avenue for creating new revenue streams. 

The Prime Minister said the nation’s Digital Transformation aims to extend to tourism, education and business as well as public services. 

He also pitched to private sector investors locally and overseas in attendance to invest in Samoa’s internet sector as it invests in an internet delivery platform 

“Samoa has recently launched an international tender to select a highly experienced consultancy firm to work hand in hand with Government to identify and launch the initial Digital Transformation Strategy and Implementation Plan,” he said.

“Samoa is well placed to realise our vision.”

The Tui Samoa Cable delivers a capacity of at least 8 Terabits per second. The cable lies between Apia, Samoa and Suva, Fiji with landing stations in between including Savusavu, Wallis and Futuna, and Savai'i.

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