New Caledonia to build branch cable to Hawaiki

New Caledonia to build branch cable to Hawaiki

29 November 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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The Société Calédonienne de Connectivité Internationale (SCCI), a newly launched carrier in New Caledonia, and Hawaiki Submarine Cable (HSC) have entered into a multi-million agreement.

Under the terms of the contract, HSC will develop a turn-key solution for SCCI to connect the island of Hawaiki to New Caledonia. HSC will build a new subsea branch to the capital city of Noumea on its existing Hawaiki cable, as well as giving the island significant capacity on the system.

The new branch system will benefit from a customised network design, including connection of both New Caledonia’s Main Island and Isle of Pines. Once live, it will fast-track the digital transformation of New Caledonia.

Named Tomoo, the local nââ kwênyii word for the “tricot rayé” indigenous sea snake and a source of protection according to tribal legends, the cable was launched during a traditional tribal ceremony attended by the custom chiefs of Isle of Pines’ eight tribes, government and business officials.

“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.”

In addition, the connection of the Hawaiki cable to New Caledonia, marks a major step-change for the nation, which currently only has one subsea cable operated by the incumbent government -owned carrier, bringing some much-needed competition to the country.  

The Hawaiki cable system is the fastest and largest capacity link between Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and mainland United States with a design capacity of 67Tbps

“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 Virginie Frouin, Hawaiki chief sales officer.

Tomoo is scheduled for completion by 2021.