Internet cable negotiations soon to commence

Finance Minister Snyder Rini

Negotiation with the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei for the implementation of Solomon Islands submarine cable project will commence as soon as the CEO of the Solomon Islands Submarine Cable Company (SISCC) assumes duty, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MOFT) announced.

In a statement issued today, the ministry said, “Arrangements are now underway for the new CEO to take up the position early February 2017 in Honiara.

“The Cabinet has awarded the supply and laying of the undersea cable to Huawei. The Government is committed to this important project and arrangements are being made for contract negotiation and signing to take place.

‘The SISCC is the company established to implement the submarine cable project and the shareholders in this company are the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) and Investment Corporation of Solomon Islands (ICSI).”

The MOFT statement said officials from both MOFT and the Ministry of Communication and Aviation are in the meantime arranging the financing package for the project.

It said the project is long overdue and it is the intention of the Government that it is implemented as soon as practicable.

“The cable project is expected to reduce the cost of communication and make broadband internet connection efficient, faster and also accessibility available to more users,” the MOFT statement said.

The MOFT statement said there are critics who are opposed to the project as carried in today’s issue of the Solomon Star, stating that the Government should focus on basic infrastructure such as health, education, transport, tourism and so forth.

It said whilst these sectors are important as expressed, communication is becoming a basic service to many more people and furthermore a key enabler to business operation and development of other basic services in health, education, policing and so on.

“Improved communication is expected to have a positive impact on economic growth and on improving the lives of our people.” The MOFT statement added.

-PM Press Secretariat Office