A crucial meeting of regional telecommunications leaders has approved the final stages of planning for the installation of the Manatua – One Polynesia Cable.
The new optical fibre submarine cable will span the South Pacific transforming speed, capacity, resilience and affordability. The six landings will be in Tahiti and Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Rarotonga and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, Apia, Samoa and Niue. It is the first fibre connectivity to Niue and the Cook Islands.
The cable is already in the region following manufacture in New Hampshire, USA by submarine cable industry leader SubCom, who was successful in the extensive supplier selection process held in 2018. Transfer of the 3700km cable from the delivery freighter Thorco Liva onto specialist cable laying vessel SubCom Reliance is currently underway.
Cable lay operations will commence in Samoa in November, Niue and Cook Islands in December, and finish in French Polynesia in January 2020.
The meeting marked the culmination of 12 months of intensive consortium efforts overseeing technical design, manufacture, performance validation, marine survey and contractual compliance to ensure the cable will perform to expectations over its 25-year
life. In parallel, the consortium has been readying itself for the start of operational service in June 2020.