The Coral Sea Cable System (CS²) is a 4,700km long fibre optic submarine cable system linking Sydney, Australia, to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and Honiara, Solomon Islands. The project also includes a 730km submarine cable system connecting Honiara to Auki (Malaita Island), Noro (New Georgia Island) and Taro Island.
The four fibre-pair international system delivers a minimum of 20Tbps capacity to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands respectively, a total capacity of 40Tbps. This significantly augments Papua New Guinea’s existing submarine cable capacity. The Solomon Islands currently relies solely on satellite for international voice and data communications.
The Coral Sea Cable System (CS²) is supplied and installed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), utilising ASN's 1620 SOFTNODE Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE) .
The Australian Government provides the majority funding (around two-thirds) for the Coral Sea Cable System (CS²), with PNG and Solomon Islands Governments jointly contributing up to one third of project costs. The project costs approximately AU$200m (US$144.2m).
The CS² consortium comprises Vocus Communications, Solomon Island Submarine Cable Company, PNG DataCo Limited.
Vocus Communications was selected by the Australian Government to implement the Coral Sea Cable System (CS²) project which lands at Tamarama Beach and houses the termnial equipment at the Paddington Cable Landing Station in Sydney.
The project was originally awarded to Huawei Marine (now HMN Tech) which signed a contract with Solomon Island Submarine Cable Company in 2017. Then, the Australian government intervened and stepped in, offering to jointly fund the construction of the cable, which the Solomons government accepted in 2018. So, Australia supplants China to build the undersea cable for Solomon Islands.
The Coral Sea Cable System (CS²) was ready for service in February 2020.