Another optic fibre proposal for Polynesia
Over recent years, there have been several proposals to connect the far-flung Polynesian states to high capacity optic fibre cables criss crossing the Pacific Ocean<!--more--> – but unfortunately most of them so far have come a cropper (the ambitious Pacific Fibre project held out some hope but it fell over last month after its New Zealand based promoters including TradeMe founder Sam Morgan announced the project was off because the company could not garner enough funds for the project that sought to connect the eastern seaboard of Australia via New Zealand to the western United States).<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/fibre-optic.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-3187" title="fibre optic" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/fibre-optic.jpg" alt="" width="138" height="104" /></a>
Now, another New Zealand company, Hawaiki Cable, has presented its proposal to Pacific leaders. One of the points of discussion at the first formal meeting of the newly formed Polynesian Leaders’ Group ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum Summit in Rarotonga last week was telecommunications connectivity by way of optical fibre.
“We can talk about the project now because I’ve had time to see the leaders of Samoa and American Samoa, and the President of New Caledonia, who are all pushing very strongly for this,” said Hawaiki’s Pacific Islands area manager, Marc Collins, to Cook Islands News.
The company’s proposed optic fibre intends to connect California, Hawaii, Auckland and Sydney, with connection points at Apia, Pago Pago, Norfolk Island, Noumea, Port Vila, Suva and Wallis and Futuna, according to media reports. Hawaiki Cable has also proposed connections to Tahiti and the Cook Islands. The multimillion-dollar will be completed in 2014 according to estimates.
The proposed cable will compete with another initiative – though not comprising submerged fibre optic cable but using satellite communications technology – called O3B. Telecom Cook Islands plans to introduce this service early in 2013.
Hawaiki says it does not need all the island states to sign up. Its chief technology officer Virginie Frouin said, “We don’t need all the islands to say yes to do this cable. We will not wait for every country to confirm.”