Submarine cable soon to launch

By: PNG Business News June 18, 2019

Economic activity will get a major boost when the Coral Sea Cable System is completed later this year. Internet users in Papua New Guinea will have access to improved internet access when the K331 million (AU$136.6 million) International Submarine Cable project linking Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Australia is completed.

The Coral Sea Cable System will link PNG, Solomon Islands and Australia and is being jointly funded by the Australia and PNG governments.

When it comes on line, with commissioning earmarked for November 2019, the cable system will link Port Moresby to Sydney and increase the communications bandwidth capacity up to a massive 20Tb/second.

The advent of the cable system will ease PNG’s dependence on expensive satellite connectivity and unreliable ageing, congested infrastructure, thus boosting connectivity and improving access.

PNG’s National Executive Council had approved the Domestic Submarine Cable network to provide reliable, affordable and consistent in-country communications connectivity to existing networks.

Currently, the country’s communications systems rely on limited bandwidth microwave connections or expensive satellite connectivity.

A domestic fibre cable system will allow the rest of the country the opportunity to experience fast, affordable communications.

The Government secured a loan from China’s EXIM Bank to fund the Domestic Submarine Cable network, estimated at US$ 270 million (K879 million) – the Government is putting forward 15% of the cost while the EXIM Bank loan covers for 85%. DataCo, the wholesale arm of Kumul Telikom Holdings, is the implementing agency.

The project is intended to utilize approximately 5, 600 kilometres of submarine fibre optic cables to connect at least 15 coastal and maritime provincial centres across Papua New Guinea. The cable is manufactured in China and had been delivered to PNG by the end of October 2018.

Last year, Phase 1 commenced with signing of contracts and included appointment of the main contractor and survey of the domestic system.

Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) is Papua New Guinea’s flagship trustee working with the State-Owned Enterprises to improve the national landscape for potential investment. w

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