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Cables connecting Pacific islands

How quickly things change. Few years back I was discussing slow connections from Vanuatu with the then regulator, Alan Horne. Now a few days prior to my first visit to Vanuatu, I find that the country is enjoying the benefits of fast Internet connectivity. I am making this post sitting in Fiji, one of the best connected Pacific islands. Whether the claims of fastest Internet speeds in the Pacific have any substance, we will see next week.

Many people expected the cable never to arrive after the hype a couple of years ago and to Fletcher’s credit he has proved those doubters wrong with the excitement the cable has brought to Vanuatu.

It will mean that the Vanuatu government will have the fastest internet speeds in the South Pacific, be able to video conference and drastically cut telephone costs and significantly improve inter government communications.

The new cable can handle 32 x 20 Gbps channels of simultaneous data being sent over the internet. Interchange has initially commission only 1 of these 20 Gbps circuits and sells this capacity to customers in 45Mbps, 155Mbps, and 622Mbps block.

A STM-4 equates to 622 Mbits per second is roughly three times the total traffic on the internet now including TVL, Digicel, and Telsat on each STM-4 and there is room for 32 on the cable.

Daily Post understands from Simon Fletcher that the government and three companies have already signed up and a total of almost one gigabyte of bandwidth has already been sold. He said, “the cable has exceeded our expectations and our investors are happy”.

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