Media 27 Jul 2020
Leaders of the four nations behind the Manatua One Polynesia Cable Project have announced that the cable is now 'ready for service'.
The announcement comes after three years of planning, design, cable manufacture and cable laying. Since completing the cable lay in January 2020, there have been numerous tests to ensure cable operations work efficiently.
Despite disruptions from the global pandemic COVID-19 during the latter stages of the project, the Manatua system has been delivered on time and within the original budget - a major testament to the collaboration and determination of the partners and Pacific countries involved.
Manatua is a collaboration initiated in April 2017 with the signing of an international treaty by the President of French Polynesia, the Prime Minister of of the Cook Islands, the Prime Minister of the Independent State of Samoa, and the Premier of the Government of Niue.
The new 3600km optical fibre submarine cable now spans the South Pacific and will transform speed, capacity, resilience, and affordability. The cable connects Tahiti and Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Rarotonga and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa. It is the first submarine cable in the Cook Islands and Niue, which until now had relied on satellite connectivity.
The Manatua cable is designed to provide service for at least 25 years.
Communities of the consortium countries will benefit from the Manatua cable as each operator works to make the new infrastructure available to retailers for incorporation into their local connectivity products and services.
President of French Polynesia, Mr. Edouard Fitch said,
"I consider this cooperation as a fantastic technical advancement and a milestone in terms of connectivity for our Polynesian region, which will allow us to a broader connectivity to the World. This is an indication of our determination and a tangible action undertaken under the banner of Polynesian Leaders Group. We should consider this project as a tremendous achievement and I wish to salute and acknowledge the unwavering support of the government of New Zealand (former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade), who fostered this initiative four years ago."
Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Hon. Henry Puna said,
"Through Manatua, our four nations have achieved together something that was unattainable individually. Because of that collaborative spirit, our people will be connected. Our lives will be connected. Our futures will be more prosperous and rewarding. This project is the dawn of a new era of cooperation and collaboration across Polynesia. I am so proud of the work undertaken by Avaroa Cable and their partners in the other countries. It is the perfect model for the future of our region."
Premier of Niue, Mr. Dalton Tagelagi said,
"The Manatua Consortium is a testament to Polynesian countries working together to make a real difference to the lives of our people, our countries and our future. Niue's connection to the Manatua Cable network is a key investment for a world-class telecommunications infrastructure to expedite Niue's technological future that is critical for the development of the country. It will enable a digital platform for improvements to education, health, other government services and to the private sector enhancing the business and tourism markets."
Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon. Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi said,
"The Manatua Cable is a physical embodiment of the Polynesian leaders' shared vision of a connected Pacific region; delivering fast, reliable and affordable internet for all. It will strengthen our cultural connections, drive economic development and employment, and create the foundation for the digital transformation of all our countries."
Image: Signing of an International Treaty in November 2018 between the governments of the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and French Polynesia. Image source: TelecomNiue Alofi