Aust-PNG Funded Cable Project Nears Completion
By Patrick Niato Tom, Papua New Guinea Post-Courier
August 11, 2019
The 4700 kilometre Coral Sea Cable project is nearing completion and currently the cable is being laid out in the Australian coastal waters between Brisbane and Sydney’s coasts.
The joint major fibre optic cable projects which is jointly funded by the Government of Australia who made a capital investment of $137 million (K315m) that also include investments made in developing other parts of the telecommunication network and jointly PNG government paid a component of $19 million while Solomon Island Governments will pay the same amount.
Australian High Commission counselor Benedict David when asked about the actual cost of the project, said Australia through the economic development partnership has invested $137 million that also covers costs incurred from other investments and developments made in the telecommunication network sector.
Speaking during a MoU signing last Friday in Port Moresby, Mr David said this is a joint investment between the PNG and Australia governments.
“The money $137 million is our contribution and there is a commitment from other governments who also contributed towards the project,” he said.
“Our investment is really part of a partnership for economic development for Papua New Guinea and its part of our program of support and partnership,” he said.
Mr David added that number or amount for the Coral Sea Cable and there are other things we are doing for telecommunication network and better internet service delivery.
“It’s really quite symbolic of the relationship and partnership between our countries, particularly that strong bound between Australia and Papua New Guinea and represents our strong economic partnership.”
As reported in the Island Sun during the signing of the MoU on construction and installation of (CSCS) between the governments of Australia, PNG and Solomon Island was signed in Brisbane, Australia last year, it stated that the total cost of the cable is about $176,864, 624 (K407m).
The Sun also quoted that Australia is paying for $130.3 million (K299m) for the international link from Sydney to Port Moresby via Honiara in the Solomon Island which Australia is going to pay 66.7 percent of that amount.
Papua New Guinea is going to be paying just below $19.7 (K45.3m) million and similar amounts will be paid by Solomon Island government.
The Coral Sea Cable system comprises of four pairs of submarine cable fibres that links Honiara and Port Moresby directly to Sydney.