Manatua cable 'ready for service'

By Sapeer Mayron 25 July 2020, 7:00PM

Samoa and its Manatua Cable Project partners have announced the 3600-kilometre cable is ready for service, just four months after the cable-laying operations were completed earlier this year.

Crossing Samoa, Niue, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, the cable provides new internet connectivity to the region, especially the Cook Islands and Niue, which until now had only satellite connectivity.

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said the cable will strengthen the region and drive countries’ “digital transformations”.

“The Manatua Cable is a physical embodiment of the Polynesian leaders’ shared vision of a connected Pacific region; delivering fast, reliable and affordable internet for all,” he said last year.

“It will strengthen our cultural connections, drive economic development and employment, and create the foundation for the digital transformation of all our countries.”

Samoa was the first country to have the cable laid, in a ceremony in Moataa hosted by the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (S.S.C.C.) in November last year. 

It will be used primarily as a backup connection for Samoa which is currently serviced by the Tui Samoa Cable. Eventually, as internet traffic grows it may be used to divert traffic and improve connection.

The Manatua Cable project began in 2017 and the global COVID-19 pandemic caused some delays in the work, but the consortium responsible for the project (including companies from the four countries involved) say it has been completed on time and within budget.

The consortium is composed of Office des Postes et Télécommunications (O.P.T.) in French Polynesia, Avaroa Cable Limited (A.C.L.) in the Cook Islands, Telecom Niue Limited (T.N.L.) in Niue, and S.S.C.C.

They say the cable should be operational for 25 years at least, through its two optical fibre pairs that carry 10 terabits per second, or 10,000,000 megabits per second.

By Sapeer Mayron 25 July 2020, 7:00PM

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