By Eddie Osifelo, Solomon Star

MINISTER of Finance and Treasury, Snyder Rini says the government is considering the costs and benefits of the planned new submarine cable project.

According to Solomon Oceanic Cable Company (SOCC), the total cost, including financing cost, civil works, supporting studies, legal costs, project management costs and contingencies, is expected to be in the range of USD68 million.

SOCC which is co-owned by Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) and Solomon Telekom (Our Telekom) is managing the project.

Rini told Parliament this week that according to a report less than three percent of people will use the cable.

“So what about the 85 percent of people in the rural areas? he asked.

“We spend $100 million for less than three percent or we use the 100 million to develop the rural areas, which the government is trying to do.

“Also, if we look at the domestic network, communication is not improving,” he said.

Rini believes that the focus should be on improving their domestic communication to cover 85 percent of people.

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