Taking only 3.5 weeks, the Solomon Islands Domestic Network lay is now complete. The landing of the cable at Noro took place on 31 October 2019, followed by the final splice – the last joint in the network – on 1 November 2019.
Auki, Taro and Noro are now connected to Honiara, which in turn has an international connection to Sydney (via the Coral Sea Cable System) that will provide reliable internet to these provincial capitals.
The opening of the Noro Cable Landing Station was also celebrated on 31 October with a ceremony attended by the Minister for Communication and Aviation, the Hon Peter Shanel, together with the Premier of Western Province, the Hon David Gina and the Australian High Commissioner, Roderick Brazier.
Speaking at the event, the Australian High Commissioner highlighted that this major infrastructure investment will be game-changing for the economic development of Solomon Islands, and transformative for communities living in provincial areas such as Noro.
The cable is designed to provide a level of internet capacity more than 6,000 times greater than current usage in Solomon Islands. This will significantly increase internet accessibility and augment the way Solomon Islanders work, learn, do business and access services.
Now that the Solomon Islands Domestic Network is fully laid, a period of rigorous testing will follow. This will ensure the reliability of the cable well into the future.
Australian and Solomon Islander experts are working with local businesses and government to make sure they are ready to capitalise on the enhanced internet connectivity.
Both the Coral Sea Cable System and Solomon Islands Domestic Network are tangible examples of the strong bilateral ties between Australia and Solomon Islands. The benefits to the region will start to unfold once customers are able to access services in early 2020.