BY GEORGINA KEKEA
SCOPING study into the undersea cable from Australia to Solomon Islands is now complete.
Leading a high-level delegation from the Australian Government is Deputy Secretary, Penny Williams who travelled to Honiara to present the findings of the scoping study to the Solomon Islands Government.
Ms Williams and her delegation, the Undersea Cables Taskforce met with Prime Minister Houenipwela yesterday and other senior members of Government to discuss options to land the cable in Australia.
From the scoping study, a number of solutions had been provided. One of the solutions is the design of the cable system.
The cable system is proposed to connect Australia to Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands.
The study identified the Coral Sea in the North East coast of Australia as the location of an undersea hub that will connect the cables from Australia to Port Moresby and to Honiara.
With the completion of the scoping study, Australia is once again reaffirming its support and commitment in ensuring this project continues into the next phase.
“At the moment all we’ve done is contracted Vocus to deliver us this scoping study, we haven’t given any companies to project manage the construction base yet,” said Pablo Kang, Head of the Undersea Cables Task Force.
Meanwhile, Vocus, had been selected by the Australian Government to engage in the scoping study because of its experience to manage undersea cables. A decision that supersedes the Solomon Islands government’s choice of Huawei. The Solomon Islands Government will formally consider the scoping study by the end of April, 2018.
Once connected via undersea cable, Solomon Islanders will be able to have access to a faster, reliable internet service presumably at a very high capacity of terabytes per second.
Head of the Australian delegation, Deputy Secretary Williams is pleased that the study has found a number of solutions that would provide Solomon Islands with a high-speed internet connection from Australia at a competitive price.