Pacific nation of Pelau gets first subsea cable connection after $20m investment

11 December 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


NEC has connected the tiny Republic of Pelau to the SEA-US cable, using a new 500Gbps spur at a cost of $20 million.

The SEA-US cable, linking south-east Asia to the US, went into operation only four months ago. The new spur connects with SEA-US on the US island of Guam.

This is the first time Pelau, one of the world’s smallest national with fewer than 23,000 people, has been connected to the world by cable: until now it has relied on satellite communication.

“This marks the completion of critical national infrastructure, that has already made its presence felt in improved services, and will continue to support the sustainable development of Palau long into the future as technologies evolve,” said Tommy Remengesau, President of Pelau.

Palau cableThe spur is operated by a state-owned company, Belau Submarine Cable Corporation (BSCC), which has a deal with Globe Telecom of the Philippines to provide connectivity.

The project was funded with the support of the Asian Development Bank. The deal with NEC includes the wet and dry cable segments and all terminal station equipment to be installed at BSCC’s landing station in Ngeremlengui state, to handle up to five 100 Gbps wavelength channels for Palau and to provision an initial 100 Gbps.

BSCC board chairman George Rechucher said: “BSCC is proud to have partnered with NEC to deliver a world class international submarine network on time and under budget.”

NEC also delivered the whole SEA-US cable, on behalf of a consortium of seven carriers, including Globe Telecom. The
14,500km system uses the latest 100Gbps transmission technology to deliver an additional 20Tbps capacity.

“NEC is honoured to have been selected as a partner for this significant project for the Republic of Palau and it is with deep pride that we hand over the keys to launch the new submarine cable link to the BSCC and the people of Palau,” said Toru Kawauchi, general manager of NEC’s submarine network division.

“Yesterday, this island nation was still dependent on satellite communications, but from today, this new cable will bring information at the speed of light, improving the quality of life for those living in and traveling to Palau.”

NEC is also building an SEA-US spur to Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia.