SCCI, a carrier recently incorporated in New Caledonia, and Hawaiki Submarine Cable have signed a multi-million dollar contract to provide SCCI with a turn-key solution to connect the island nation to Hawaiki, including a subsea branch to the capital city of Noumea and significant capacity on the transpacific cable.
The deal is expected to fast-track the digital transformation of New Caledonia, providing unprecedented speeds and connecting the country directly to the US, Australia and New Zealand at much more competitive pricing.
The new cable benefits from a customised network design, including connection of both New Caledonia’s Main Island and Isle of Pines.
Launched during a traditional tribal ceremony attended by the custom chiefs of Isle of Pines’ eight tribes, government and business officials, the new cable has been named ‘Tomoo’, the local nââ kwênyii word for the “tricot rayé” indigenous sea snake, a source of protection according to tribal legends.
“This project is critical not only for the development of the Isle of Pines, but for the whole territory of New Caledonia,” said Isle of Pines’ High Chief Hilarion Vendégou.
“All the tribes of the island have come together to support the Tomoo cable, which will bring broadband connectivity to our population.”
Praised for its carrier-neutrality, the connection of the Hawaiki cable to New Caledonia also heralds a new era for the nation, which currently has only one submarine cable connection operated by the incumbent government-owned carrier.
Steffen Holzt, managing director of SCCI, said: “We have received very supportive comments from the Government and the business community, and look forward to helping accelerate the digital development of New Caledonia.”
The Hawaiki cable system has a design capacity of 67 Tbp that links Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and mainland United States.
Launched in July 2018, it recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its connection to American Samoa. In that short time, the US territory has reported a 10-times increase in internet speeds and an exponential increase in business and residential connections.
“Thanks to SCCI and the Tomoo cable, New Caledonia will be able to enjoy the multiple benefits of Hawaiki’s international connectivity and boost the development of its digital economy, both locally and in the Pacific region,” said Hawaiki chief sales officer, Virginie Frouin.
Tomoo is scheduled for completion by 2021.