Media 17 Jan 2020
The Manatua One Polynesia submarine cable system has been successfully brought ashore to Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
The cable will provide faster internet speed and world-class international connectivity to Rarotonga and Aitutaki when it goes live in May 2020, connecting with Apia in Samoa, Tahiti and Bora Bora in French Polynesia and Niue.
Prior to the cable landing in Rarotonga, much of the island experienced the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Sarai over the Christmas and New Years period resulting in major damages to properties. The cyclone also created difficult sea conditions which temporarily suspended the deep sea cable operations, but it soon resumed once the weather had improved.
Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown led celebrations to mark the event and acknowledged the support of the New Zealand Government, Asian Development Bank, the Aronga Mana and Landowners.
"This is a truly exciting day. We stand at the dawn of a new era of telecommunications for the Cook Islands," Mr. Brown said.
"This cable is critical to so many aspects of our future plans, from education to innovation, health to prosperity, and things not yet invented for the benefit of our people."
CEO and Vice Chair of the Manatua Cable Consortium, Dr. Ranulf Scarbrough also acknowledged the efforts of those involved in the operations despite the challenges brought on by the cyclone.
"Extreme sea conditions following Tropical Cyclone Sarai, along with the surf and strong currents of Rutaki passage, have combined to make this the most technically complex of the Manatua landings so far." he said.
"The teams have worked incredible well together and the outcome has been excellent. There is more work to do but we now have one of the most challenging aspects safely behind us."
Image: The first cable buoy reaching land in Rutaki, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Source: Cook Islands government