New Pacific cable to link French Polynesia with Samoa, Niue and Cook Islands

10 March 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


French Polynesia and New Zealand are to extend the existing Honatua subsea cable in the Pacific to Samoa, Niue and the Cook Islands.

Radio New Zealand reported that a new cable, Manatua, will extend the existing cable. It will have three pairs of fibres, operating at 30Tbps, according to Tahiti Infos.

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, agreed to the extension – which will involve New Zealand territory as well as French Polynesia – at a meeting in Auckland.

The Polynesian version of France TV Info reported that the cable will be 4,500km long and will back up Honatua to provide broadband internet services to the islands.

Tahiti Infos put the cost of the project at the equivalent of $53 million. It will be co-financed with New Zealand, which governs Cook Islands and Niue. No information is available about which company will make and lay the cable.

The existing Honatua cable connects Hawaii with Tahiti. According to Radio New Zealand, the French Polynesia Government said the aim was to have it completed by the end of this year.

The meeting included Tu’ilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, prime minister of the independent state of Samoa and Henry Puna, prime minister of the Cook Islands, and French Polynesia’s president, Edouard Fritch.