Vocus to build Pacific Islands submarine cable

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Vocus to build Pacific Islands submarine cable

Vocus will take part in building a submarine cable between the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

The agreement between the telco and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is expected to improve Papua New Guinea's international connectivity and bring high-speed international telecommunications to the Solomon Islands for the first time.

Vocus is tasked with conducting a scoping study of the design, construction and procurement of the submarine cable, which includes consultations with the governments of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and other external stakeholders.

“Our experience as network builders, owners and operators puts us in a strong position to lead this project on behalf of the Australian Government,” Vocus chief executive Geoff Horth said.

“The expertise we have gained from designing and developing the North-West Cable System and the Australia-Singapore Cable means that we have the team and the knowledge that can deliver the best outcome for Pacific Islands connectivity.

According to Vocus, Papua New Guinea currently uses a low capacity cable nearing its end of life while the Solomon Islands is wholly reliant on satellite technology.

After the scoping study phase is complete, the rollout of a cable system on behalf of the Australian Government is expected to commence in 2018.

“We are pleased to build on our strong relationship with the Australian Government and we look forward to securing the opportunity to work with both Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands to deliver this critical infrastructure project,” Horth said.

Earlier this month, Vocus announced it would split its wholesale and enterprise division into two separate business units in an effort to capitalise on the opportunities stemming from the Nextgen Networks acquisition in 2016.

Nextgen was acquired for $861 million on June that year, bringing both the North-West Cable System and the Australia-Singapore Cable into Vocus’ business.

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