The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) welcomes the much-awaited laying of the fibre optic cable between Honiara and Sydney, Australia as part of the Coral Sea Cable System which commenced in Honiara over the weekend.

SICCI, as the peak body representing private sector in the Solomon Islands, eagerly looks forward to the completion of this national project and the positive impacts it will have on private sector and community.

Chair of SICCI, Mr Jeremy Bartlett reiterated that the Coral Sea Cable System project has a huge potential to drive economic development for the Solomon Islands.

“Faster, affordable and reliable internet services in the Solomon Islands among others is a pre-condition to creating an enabling environment for business and investment and will have a positive cross cutting flow on effect.

“Among many benefits, the cable will boost the county’s internet speed connection, and for the average Solomon Islander, it should translate to cheaper communication rates. We are excited with its potential to enable innovations in systems and processes both for Government as well as for businesses. It could result in better and more efficient ways of doing business and most importantly, help bridge the gap between private sector and public sector,” Mr Bartlett said.

The SICCI Chair acknowledges the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) for placing this project as a national development priority as part of its commitment to deliver tremendous social and economic benefits to the Solomon Islands people through the availability of fast reliable and cost-effective telecommunications services.

Mr Bartlett also thanked chiefs and tribal representatives in Guadalcanal Province for partnering with Government and calls for their continuous support which will enable all Solomon Islanders to benefit from this national project.

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 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 will deliver faster, cheaper and more reliable communications infrastructure, affording both countries significant economic and development benefits.

Australia will provide the majority funding for this cable, with PNG and Solomon Islands Governments jointly contributing up to one third of project costs.

The ship will lay cable from Honiara to Sydney over the next two months before returning Solomon Islands in September to lay the 730km Solomon Islands Domestic Network cable that will connect Honiara to the provincial centres of Auki, Noro and Taro.

The Coral Sea Cable System and the Solomon Islands Domestic Network are on track to be ready for service by December 2019.

-SICCI Media