30 Nov 2009

Marshalls fibre optic cable project to start in two weeks

5:02 pm on 30 November 2009

The laying of a new undersea fibre optic cable from the Marshall Islands to Guam is due to get underway in just over two weeks.

It is envisaged the cable will give the Marshalls access to high speed communications technology.

The National Telecommunications Authority General Manager, Tony Muller, recently signed an agreement with Indian firm, Tata Communications, for access to its facilities in Guam for placement and maintenance of the communications cable and associated equipment.

He says the next challenge will be upgrading an antiquated domestic distribution system to deliver broadband access.

Mr Muller says a lot of people are expecting a drastic drop in cost, but they forget there is now a second loan to pay off.

He said the company was looking at quadrupling speeds at the same rates.

The cable is costing the Marshall Islands 21 million US dollars.

The U.S. Army, which operates a high-tech missile testing range at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, is the driving force behind the cable and has already invested 100 million dollars .

A branch will also link Pohnpei, in the Federated States of Micronesia, to the cable.