SOLOMON ISLANDS SOON TO ENJOY CHEAPER INTERNET

The NPF logo. Photo credit: SIBC.

The NPF logo. Photo credit: SIBC.

Solomon Islands will soon enjoy cheaper Internet connection by 2016.

Chair of the National Provident Fund Board, Baoro Laxton Koraua made the statement during a Public Accounts Committee hearing this week.

NPF owns 51 per cent shares of the company that will connect the country to underwater cabling Internet service – Solomons Oceanic Cable Company.

Mr Koraua said the investment is risky, but it is important for people in Solomon Islands to connect with the world through Internet at fast and cheaper rates.

“It is an area that is not active, which will reduce the cost of production if we reduce the cost of communication. Also, there is business opportunity available there, so for the past two years we’ve been struggling because when we look at the Solomon’s market its price is not big enough for the kind of investment required to invest in this underwater cable to bring it down, because at the moment we rely totally on satellite, especially regarding communication data for telephones. That’s why it’s more expensive than anywhere else, so Cable will help us a great deal.”

The NPF Board Chairman also told the Public Accounts Committee, the Solomons Oceanic Cable Company is negotiating to connect the country directly with Sydney’s underwater cable.

Mr Koraua adds, Solomon Islands may be connected by 2016.

“SOCC is actually negotiating directly for us to run a direct line from Sydney to the Solomon Islands. That’s now very much in the pipeline, as we speak we’ve already established a link out of Sydney with Telstra, we’ve already got agreements there. There is now a new line very likely that will cost us. I mean the lines were between USD$60 million and $115 or $120 million, we went for the cheaper version. At this point in time it seems by 2016 we will have a direct connectivity between here and Sydney and it will open up the world to us.”

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