Solomons borrows big to tap into Sydney-Guam cable

20/09/2012

Solomon Islands is aggressively pursuing plans to boost the country’s broadband connectivity by hitching its telecommunications infrastructure to an undersea cable running between Sydney and Guam.<!--more-->

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[caption id="attachment_3853" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Solomon Islands Minister of Finance and Treasury Rick Hounipwela (Photo: Dev Nadkarni)"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Rick-Hou11.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-3853" title="Rick Hou1" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Rick-Hou11.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="200" /></a>[/caption]

The country’s Minister of Finance and Treasury Rick Hounipwela told Parliament this week that the Government is expected to receive a US$7 million grant and US$ 10.5 million loan from the Asian Development Bank to fund the undersea optic fibre cable.

Mr Hounipwela said the on-lent loan is to be repaid in full to the Government with interest. “The total cost of the submarine cable system project is expected to be around USD$60 million or SBD$420 million with other contributions coming from SOCC’s shareholders and commercial financing,” he told media.

The project, which will also include two domestic cables to be linked to Auki and Noro to ensure that the benefits are distributed to more than 40 per cent of Solomon Islanders, will help enhance internet communications and reduce telecommunications costs boosting opportunities for Solomon Islands consumers and businesses.

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