Solomon Islands in new broadband deal
The Solomon Islands this week inked a new deal that will help the country tap into an existing international submarine cable network that runs between Guam and Sydney to bringing affordable high speed internet services to its people. <!--more-->
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The Solomon Islands Government, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Solomons Oceanic Cable Company signed the financing and project agreements on November 14.
The project will be financed by Asian Development Fund loan and grant funds, commercial financing from ADB and equity brought in by the Solomons Oceanic Cable Company.
Many areas of the Solomon Islands remain geographically isolated with poor access to markets and services. The cable project is expected to help improve the country’s connectivity to the rest of the world, offer new domestic and regional economic opportunities, reduce communication costs and assist with service delivery. The cable system is expected to be in place by December 2013.
“The Solomon Islands Broadband for Development Project will deliver affordable, accessible, information and communication technology (ICT) which will improve the delivery of government, health, and education services and help businesses expand by creating jobs,” Andrea Iffland, ADB’s Regional Director of Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Australia said at the signing ceremony.
“It will also increase the frequency and quality of communications among countries in the region and create economic benefits by connecting Solomon Islands to larger markets.”
Rick Houenipwela, Minister of Finance and Treasury, the Government of Solomon Islands and Austin Holmes, Chairman of the Board of the Solomons Oceanic Cable Company also participated in the signing ceremony.