First stage of cable deal signed


Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during their recent meet in Australia. Photo: The Guardian.

The Australian, and Solomon Islands government officials today signed  the first stage of a multi-million-dollar contract to build the undersea high speed Internet link cable between Solomon Islands and the Australian mainland.

Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela is currently in Australia, and has met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra for the two countries to sign off on where the cable will land in the country.

The Australian government will fund about two thirds of the cost of the cable to the country and to Papua New Guinea.

According to the ABC, the cable will run for about 4000 kilometers from Australia, and is valued at over AUD$100 Million in the Australian national aid budget, which is estmated to be over $500 Million in Solomon Dollars.

The signing also comes in light after Australia flexed its political muscle in revoking the country’s original contract with Chinese Telecommunications giants ‘Huawei’ in July last year, due to security concerns.

The ABC also reports, the Australian government believed that while Huawei is an independent company, it retains links to the Chinese government and could pose a threat to Australian infrastructure in the future.

Australia already has a number of underwater cables connected around the region, but this deal is expected to bring about fast Internet connections to the Solomon Islands, and speed up communication links, one of the slowest in the region.

By: Lowen Sei.





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