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Second Submarine Cable Deployed

A second submarine cable, with a total length of 1,515 kilometers between Noumea and Suva, was deployed in Vatuwaqa yesterday.
06 May 2022 10:00
Second Submarine Cable Deployed
French Ambassador François- Xavier Lèger cuts off the rope to deploy the second international submarine cable GONDWANA-2 that links New Caledonia to Fiji at Vatuwaqa on May 5,2022. Photo: Laisa Lui

A second submarine cable, with a total length of 1,515 kilometers between Noumea and Suva, was deployed in Vatuwaqa yesterday.

This is in order to secure international digital links and was possible through the Office of Posts and Telecommunications of Nouvelle-Caledonia (OPT-NC), a public player in the planning and economic development territory.

 

Member of Government of New Caledonia and President of the OPT-NC Administrative Council, Yoann Lecourieux said since 2008, New  Caledonia was connected to a single international submarine cable linking Noumea to Sydney (Gondwana-1) which in the case of failure or cut this cable, the territory would be disconnected from the global internet for several days or even weeks.

 

Mr Lecourieux said the current and future growth of the uses made through the cable is such that any critical incident on a single cable would have strong repercussions in New Caledonia on internet uses, international telephone communications, banking and commercial transactions, information systems and media.

 

“In 2017 OPT-NC committed to the project of securing the domestic and international internet in New Caledonia through the installation of a second submarine cable,” Mr Lecourieux said.

President of the OPT-NC Administrative Council, Yoann Lecourieux with Fiji International Telecommunications Limited (FINTEL) Chief Executive Officer, George Samisoni at Vatuwaqa on May 5,2022. Photo: Laisa Lui

President of the OPT-NC Administrative Council, Yoann Lecourieux with Fiji International
Telecommunications Limited (FINTEL) Chief Executive Officer, George Samisoni at Vatuwaqa on May 5, 2022. Photo: Laisa Lui

“This project was made real in 2019 around a deployment that consists of two components:
-an extension of the local telecommunications network by domestic cable (PICOT-2), which will complete the existing local system by connecting all the Loyalty Islands, the south of Grand Terre and the Isle of Pines to each other and to Grand Terre.

-an international cable (GONDWANA-2) which will link New Caledonia to Fiji and will thus secure and guarantee the continuity of external communications.

 

“In general, the deployment of this new cable will enable New Caledonia to strengthen its roles as players in the digital landscape of the Pacific zone, while meeting the societal, economic and regional development challenges,” he said.

French Ambassador, François- Xavier Lèger said it was a historical moment enhancing the connectivity between Fiji and New Caledonia, an important aspect in every country.

“It is very important in the global world without connectivity, we cannot ensure good economic growth and prosperity,” he said.

 

“This cable is a French technology produced by a French company and very important for New Caledonia to ensure good regional integration with Fiji.

Mr Lèger said there are interests in developing partnerships with Fijian companies and he is confident that the cable will develop better business ties between most private sectors in Fiji and New Caledonia.

He said the significant amount that have been paid was by the Office if Posts and Telecommunications of Nouvelle-Caledonia (OPT-NC) and the other half was funded directly by the French government through a soft loan from the French Development Agency which is an armed tool for public development.

 

”Minister for Digital Transition Technical Innovation of Noumea, New Caledonia, Vaimisa Muliana said it took eight years for the concept of the laying the cables to be accepted by landowners and it was worth the wait.”

Mr Muliana said the laying of the cable was the only way for Pacific Islanders to survive in the digital modern world.

“The digitalization is like the ocean that we have to master as our ancestors did as navigators,” Mr Muliana said.

 

“Fiji is the platform for people to move to the East to the West from the North to the South and it is crucial for us as our ancestors faced it once in the past and together we face it on globalization by strengthening our ties.

Fiji International Telecommunications Limited (FINTEL) Chief Executive Officer, George Samisoni said out of the four billion people that do not have access to the internet, nine million Pacific islands will now have connectivity.

 

Feedback: laisa.kabulevu@fijisun.com.fj



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