The first immediate benefit of the Manatua cable for Niue’s population will be faster internet while for affordability, there will be a gradual decrease in price for consumers as more people use the service.
This is according to the MFAT Project Manager Paul Seaden who is working with stakeholders on the installation of the manatua cable.
After much anticipation, the MS Reliance the ship carrying the Manatua cable began their work of bringing the cable on land at Lalotoa in Makefu on Monday December 2nd.
The project which started some 3 years ago. Niue’s Manatua cable is being funded by the NZ Government to the tune of $7 million.
The project will connect four Pacific countries, Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands and French Polynesia.
“The main cable system will go straight from Samoa straight to French Polynesia and Niue’s and Cook islands section really branch off that main cable system so what they actually did was started laying the main cable and then they left it 60 km out from Niue and left in 5000 meters of water and then they came into Niue and started a new section at Niue itself then they lay that section all the way out towards where the main cable is pick up the main cabling , attach Niue’s section. So the next country they will reach will be Cook islands and they’ll do the same things again , they’ll leave the main cable in the water go into cook islands and they have two landings there so they will be connecting to Raratonga , Aitutaki as well and they’ll do the same thing connecting those two using branches as well before they head off to French Polynesia.” said Seaden
While the installation gets underway during this cyclone season, the MFAT project manager says submarine cables are resilient to weather systems.
The Manatua is expected to come on live and be commissioned for public use in June next year.
“You can expect to see the kind of performance you would see in new zealand, it’s that kind of performance increase that you’ll get from the manatua cable immediately but when it comes to the affordability aspect i think it’s probably worth talking a bit about this because its not necessarily an immediate decrease in internet price that you see in countries. What actually happens is that it’s a gradual decrease overtime because the operators have to price in the increased use that comes from a cable system , they price that in overtime and overtime you’ll see as more people and more people consume data then there’s a gradual decrease in the price so it’s something we’ve spoken about in other countries as well just to set some of the expectations that it won’t be an immediate decrease in price but you will see a decrease over time and you’ll see that performance increase from day 1.” said Seaden
Telecom Niue will determine the costing of internet services.