The groundbreaking ceremony for the Samoa Submarine Cable Company’s (SSCC) landing station for the Tui Samoa Submarine Cable took place at the Samoa College Hostel Compound, Vaivase, earlier this morning.
Deputy Prime Minister, Afioga Fiame Naomi Mataafa delivered the keynote address for the occasion.
This morning’s ceremony marks the fourth milestone for this project to signal the commencement of civil construction of the cable landing station for the Upolu landing of the Tui Samoa Submarine Cable.
The Samoa Submarine Cable Company is a partnership between Government and local stakeholders, which is in place to procure, operate and manage the Tui Samoa Submarine Cable.
Fiame said the Tui Samoa Cable will help to improve the lives of ordinary Samoans; provide school children in rural villages the same access to information that children in developed countries take for granted; provide local Samoan businesses the platform to promote their goods and services and compete in international markets; and for government to fast track the National Digital Economy Strategy in order to provide e-Government services to the people of Samoa.
“To start construction of the cable landing station so soon after signing the supply contract is a remarkable achievement for SSCC’s project team and testament to their drive, initiative and skill,” said Fiame.
“As we all know, the Samoa Submarine Cable Company is now rapidly developing and constructing the Tui Samoa Cable, and the Government and SSCC have recently signed historic partnerships with the Territory of Wallis and Futuna and the Government of Fiji for their participation in this project,” said Fiame.
She also reflected on other milestones for the project which included: the setting up of the SSCC as a true public-private partnership; the SSCC entering into a supply contract with Alcatel Lucent Submarine Networks to manufacture supplies and installation of the submarine cable system named Tui-Samoa Cable, linking Apia, Samoa, to Suva, Fiji, providing an advanced broadband highway in order to drive social and economic growth; the partnership with Wallis & Futuna and the Fijian Island of Vanua Levu; and the commencement of commercial negotiations between SSCC and Southern Cross Cable in relation to Southern Cross’ Project NEXT. Southern Cross NEXT will be a high capacity express route, providing data-centre connectivity between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles. Given its design and route, it will be the lowest latency path to the United States by some considerable margin.
“These milestones are important steps towards positioning Samoa as a submarine cable hub in the region and will further enhance the prospects of winning the rights to also land the Pacific Connectivity Project submarine cable from Tahiti at this cable landing station,” said Fiame.
Fiame acknowledged the Southern Cross Cable Company as Samoa Submarine Cable Company’s partner in efforts to fulfill Samoa’s ambition to be the cable hub for the central Pacific and thanked the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and the Australian Government for their assistance with the project.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corps and representatives of the Southern Cross Cable company.
Reverend Elder Siolo Tauati blessed the occasion with short prayer service.