Hawaiki cable backers look for Fiji alliance

29 November 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


The owners of the planned Hawaiki cable across the Pacific – which started construction last week – is looking for a partner in Fiji.

CEO Remi Galasso told local media that its survey ship has been in the area and is talking to potential partners. “We are progressing well and have already been contacted by several parties,” he told the Fiji Sun.

The Hawaiki Cable will link New Zealand and Australia with the US states of Hawaii – in mid-Pacific – and Oregon on the mainland with provision for a branch to connect with Fiji as well as other Pacific islands, including New Caledonia. The company already has contracts to connect American Samoa and Tonga.

Galasso said that Hawaiki will pass within 220km of Suva, the Fiji capacity, and is looking for a partnership to build a connecting cable, working with a local operator or a joint venture. Digicel and Vodafone are the two mobile operators on Fiji, while state-owned Telecom Fiji is the monopoly fixed-line operator.

He told the newspaper: “Cable manufacturing has begun in September and 1,500 km of cable have already been manufactured so far in the factory of our supplier TE SubCom. Cable laying will start around mid-2017 and last for about six months depending on weather conditions. We expect Hawaiki Cable system to be in service by June 2018, so Fiji could potentially be connected to Hawaiki at the same time.”