SUVA, 27 OCTOBER 2023 (FIJI GOVT) — Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has announced the South Pacific Connect Initiative a significant milestone in reducing the digital divide and enhancing the capacity, resilience and reliability of digital connectivity across the Pacific. 

The initiative will establish a new subsea cable to link the United States, Fiji, Australia, and French Polynesia. 

The South Pacific Connect initiative is a collaborative effort with Google marking a significant step in the advancement of digital infrastructure in the Pacific region.

Google will also construct diverse cable landing stations in Fiji and connect them with an interlink cable which will connect transpacific routes, improve reliability, add capacity and reduce latency for users in the Pacific and around the world. The Tabua Cable will connect the United States, Australia and Fiji. 

Additionally, Google will lay a distinct subsea cable dubbed the Honomoana Cable connecting the United States to French Polynesia and onward to Australia. 

One of the key aspects of this initiative is the planned interlinking subsea cable connecting Fiji and French Polynesia, which provides the potential for other Pacific Island countries and territories.

This substantial investment in Fiji and the broader South Pacific Connect Initiative is set to revolutionise digital connectivity in the region providing a robust and reliable network, vital backup, expanded capacity, and minimising delays for users in Fiji.

“The Government of Fiji is pleased to partner with Google for this significant milestone in enhancing digital connectivity and resilience. The South Pacific Connect Initiative is a testament to the power of international collaboration and investment,” Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said.

“Together, we are forging a stronger, more connected, and resilient digital future for Fiji, the Pacific, and beyond, creating a legacy of economic growth, skill development, and progress for all. The Government of Fiji is extremely grateful for this partnership with Google and is committed to supporting this exciting and transformative initiative.

“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the collaborators engaged in this groundbreaking endeavor. Additionally, we acknowledge the support of the United States and Australian Governments, to this project, allowing for potential future submarine cable connections to other Pacific Island countries.”

In the last nine months, the Office of the Prime Minister, Fiji Trade Commission in North America, Ministry of Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communication, along with Investment Fiji, have collaborated to support Google’s scoping and investment initiatives in Fiji, showcasing effective coordination among government agencies to assist and facilitate investors in Fiji.

Google is committed to investing in the construction of a new diverse cable landing station, providing much-needed redundancy and resiliency.

“Today’s announcement is a reflection of Google’s mission to make the world’s information universally accessible and useful. Google is committed to collaborate with the Fiji Government and FINTEL to build out the reach, reliability, and resiliency of internet access in the country and across the Pacific,” said Brian Quigley, VP, Global Network Infrastructure, Google Cloud.

“The People’s Coalition Government is thrilled to work with Google on the South Pacific Connect initiative, aligning with our long-time goal of diversifying the submarine cable landing stations in Fiji. This initiative is a game-changer for Fiji, reinforcing our ambition to turbocharge, diversify, and strengthen the Fiji economy,” said Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications, Minister Manoa Kamikamica.

“The establishment of the Tabua Cable will deliver the robust redundancy needed to support and enable new investments and growth in ICT, business process outsourcing services, and new sectors. More importantly, it provides the opportunity to connect the rest of the Pacific, solidifying Fiji’s ambitions to be the hub of the Pacific and extending benefits throughout the region.

“Submarine cables have a well-demonstrated history of driving economic growth and improving productivity. Enhanced availability of digital services enables people to develop new skills, opening up new career prospects. Furthermore, enterprises and government entities can more effectively cater to their clients and citizens, contributing to notable advancements,” Minister Kamikamica said.

Google has collaborated with key stakeholders, including FINTEL and the FNPF. 

The partnership will strengthen Fiji and FINTEL’s telecommunications hub status and provide much needed reliable and resilient connectivity between the people of the Pacific and the rest of the world. 

This initiative stands as one of the first projects of its kind in the Pacific, addressing the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters while enhancing internet capacity, reliability and resilience…. PACNEWS

PAC – CONECTIVITY: BW DIGITAL                                                                            PACNEWS BIZ: Fri 27 Oct 2023

BW Digital signs contracts to future-proof Pacific connectivity

SINGAPORE/ AUCKLAND/ CANBERRA, 27 OCTOBER 2023 (BW DIGITAL) — BW Digital announced today that its subsidiary, Hawaiki Nui Submarine Cable LP, has signed contracts with the Australian Government to enhance international connectivity throughout the Pacific region.

Hawaiki Nui is a new Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) fibre optic cable linking South-East Asia, Australasia and North America. Construction of the system is due to start in 2024, with an expected cable ready for service (RFS) date in 2026.

The contracts, comprising agreements to supply and install branching units and an indefeasible right of use for capacity on the Hawaiki Nui submarine cable, will be funded by the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP). 

These branching units will elevate Pacific Islands countries by providing the opportunity for operators to branch into the Hawaiki Nui cable trunk, connect directly to regional hubs and benefit from critical diversity and improved latency.

“The contracts between the Australian Government and BW Digital demonstrate our joint commitment to bridge the digital divide and provide secure, high-speed connectivity to Pacific island countries,” said Ludovic Hutier, chief executive officer of BW Digital.

“This agreement also reflects BW Digital’s strategy to build a trusted ecosystem of digital infrastructure servicing the needs of governments, businesses and communities throughout the Asia-Pacific region” he added.

The signing comes as Australia and the United States announced a commitment to work collaboratively with commercial trunk developers and Pacific Island countries to provide future connectivity options to support the realisation of regional digitisation goals…. PACNEWS

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