The vessel to delivery the country’s undersea cable system is scheduled to make its way to the Pacific this weekend.
That’s according to Chief Executive Officer of Solomon Submarine Cable Ltd, Keir Preedy.
He said the completed undersea cable systems, the Coral Sea Cable System (CS2) and the Solomon Islands Domestic Network (SIDN), are currently being loaded onto the Alcatel Cable Ship, Ile de Batz, in Calais, France.
He said the ship will first head to Port Moresby and lay the PNG branch of the CS2 cable from June 6, heading to Honiara by 20 June to commence the Solomon Islands branch.
He adds, it will lay the Solomon Island cable branch back to meet the PNG branch, install the branching unit, then lay the combined CS2 cable down to Sydney for the land termination.
Mr Preedy said the last splice on CS2 should be completed on 10 August, after which the vessel will return to Honiara to commence the laying of SIDN at the end of August.
Meanwhile, he said Auki will be connected to Honiara first, then the ship will lay the main body of the cable system to Western Province, complete the branch to Taro, then finally the branch to Noro to complete the system by early October.
He says the second important milestone is the shipping of the Solomon Submarine Cable’s prefabricated Cable Landing Stations and office building from X-Site Modular in the USA.
The CEO said these specialist data centre buildings will arrive into Honiara during May saying, they will be installed at Lengakiki Ridge by 31 May, in Noro by mid-June and in Auki and Taro by early July.
He said the Commonwealth’s contractor, Vocus Communications, and their sub-contractor, Alcatel Submarine Networks will then install all the required electronics in the landing stations and run the land cables from the beach landing points to the landing stations through Solomon Submarine Cable’s land ducts to complete the system.
Mr. Preedy adds, the project is clearly on track to complete all system testing and for the Commonwealth of Australia to hand over the operational cables to the operating companies before the end of 2019.
The project is funded by the Australian Government.