The 4,700km Coral Sea Cable System under construction by Vocus, has achieved two major milestones, with the cable now installed at the landing sites at both Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
In the Solomon Islands on Monday 15 July 2019, a ceremony featuring a symbolic handover of a ‘golden buoy’ formally marked the beginning of work to lay the cable between Honiara and Sydney.
Taking part in the ceremony were Solomon Islands Prime Minister, the Hon Manasseh Sogavare, Acting Australian High Commissioner, Ms Sally-Anne Vincent, along with traditional landowners, senior government officials, members of the board of Solomon Islands Submarine Cable Company Limited, and representatives from Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and Vocus.
Contracted by the Australian Government to construct the Coral Sea Cable System, Vocus Chief Executive, Enterprise & Government, Andrew Wildblood said the project was making excellent progress.
“This is a large scale and complex submarine cable build and our team, together with our partners, are doing a great job. It’s exciting to reach more key milestones and for this cable system to be taking shape,” he said.
“Our progress to date is testament to the expertise in fibre networks and large-scale project management we have at Vocus, and the strong relationships we have with the Australian Government agencies and stakeholders involved.
“Vocus is very proud of our role in building critical infrastructure for the people, businesses and communities of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands,” Mr Wildblood said.
The ceremony followed an official tour of ASN’s cable-laying ship, the Ile de Brehat, on Friday 12 July 2019, by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon John Maneniaru, Acting High Commissioner Vincent and other senior representatives.
Officials touring the vessel were briefed on how the undersea fibre optic cable, manufactured in France, will be laid along its distance.
They were also shown the repeaters, key pieces of technology used to boost the signal of the cable network.
There are 42 repeaters placed along the cable length, some of which have been named after prominent or inspirational Solomon Islanders following a public competition that was held in May this year.
The Coral Sea Cable System is a 4,700km long fibre optic submarine cable system linking Sydney, Australia, to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and Honiara, Solomon Islands.
The four fibre-pair system will deliver a minimum of 20 terabits per second (Tbps) capacity to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands respectively, and have a total capacity of 40Tbps. This will significantly augment Papua New Guinea’s existing submarine cable capacity. The Solomon Islands currently relies solely on satellite for its international voice and data communications.
The project also includes a 730km submarine cable system connecting Honiara to Auki (Malaita Island), Noro (New Georgia Island) and Taro Island.
The Coral Sea Cable System and the Solomon Islands Domestic Network are on track to be ready for service by December 2019.
Further information on the Coral Sea Cable System and Solomon Islands Domestic Network can be found at www.coralseacablesystem.com.au.