Melanesian Fiber Cable Set to Improve PNG’s Internet


By Quinton Alomp – EM TV, Port Moresby

The Melanesian Submarine Fiber Cable will solve PNG’s internet problems and improve services for the country.

This is the second fiber telecommunication cable PNG DataCo Limited, a newly formed State Owned Enterprise (SOE), is ready to roll out the infrastructure that will connect Melanesian countries.

The first fiber cable is called APNG-2, which connects to Sydney, Australia, and is managed by Telikom PNG.

The Melanesian telecommunication fiber cable will connect PNG to the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and then to Southern Cross and to the United States of America.

The processes for this project will be finalised and construction will commence later this month.

The project will cost US$55 million and will take 18 months to complete. All benefiting countries will share the cost for this project.

Currently internet users in PNG are experiencing slow and ineffective data transfer because the current APNG-2 cable, managed by Telikom PNG, has reached its capacity and cannot take in more users. This is due to the increased number of businesses, schools and mobile phone users now going online.

However, with this new Melanesian submarine cable, internet cost will be minimised by 70 per cent and data flow will be faster than before.  

PNG Dataco Limited Chairman, Reuben Kautu said another submarine cable called PPC-1 that runs from Hawaii to Guam and down to Madang Province has a bigger capacity but they are unable to use it at present.

According to IPBC, DataCo was established to operate and maintain the National Transmission Network, and will supply NTN bandwidth to network license holders. 

Kautu said that work is now underway to connect the PPC-1 cable to all Highlands provinces. This cable will run alongside PNG Power transmission lines.

PNG DataCo Managing Director, Paul Komboi said the PPC-1 cable already connects Lae and work is underway to connect all Highlands provinces from Yonki.

It will link up with the LNG cable already operational from Hides.

He said they will offload excessive data services to schools, health facilities, and public service providers along the Highlands highway, giving them the opportunity to access high speed internet services.

This will be a major project PNG DataCo is planning to roll out to all provincial centres using cables. Rural areas will use satellite, in the near future.

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