The Manatua – One Polynesia Cable now RFS

The Manatua – One Polynesia Cable now RFS 

23 July 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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The Manatua – One Polynesia subsea cable now has been confirmed as ready for service (RFS) by the leaders of the four nations behind the new system.

Final checks and preparation were completed by the four operators managing the project as the collectively known as the Manatua Consortium.

I consider this cooperation as a fantastic technical advancement and a milestone in terms of connectivity for our Polynesian region, which will allow us to a broader connectivity to the World,” said Edouard Fitch, president of French Polynesia.

“This is an indication of our determination and a tangible action undertaken under the banner of the Polynesian Leaders Group. We should consider this project as a tremendous achievement and I wish to salute and acknowledge the unwavering support of the government of New Zealand who fostered this initiative four years ago.”

It is comprised of the Office des Postes et Télécommunications (OPT) in French Polynesia, Avaroa Cable Limited (ACL) in the Cook Islands, Telecom Niue Limited (TNL) in Niue, and Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC) in Samoa.

The 3,600km fibre optic subsea cable spans the South Pacific bringing much need speed, capacity, resilience, and affordability to the region. 

“This project is the dawn of a new era of cooperation and collaboration across Polynesia. I am so proud of the work undertaken by Avaroa Cable and their partners in the other countries. It is the perfect model for the future of our region,” said Honourable Henry Puna, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands.

The system connects Tahiti and Bora Bora in French Polynesia and is the first subsea cable to connect Rarotonga and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa, which previously relied on satellite connectivity.

“Niue's connection to the Manatua Cable network is a key investment for a world-class telecommunications infrastructure to expedite Niue's technological future that is crucial for the development of the country,” added Dalton Tagelagi, premier of Niue.

“It will enable a digital platform for improvements to education, health, other government services and to the private sector enhancing the business and tourism markets."

Built, designed and manufactured by SubCom, the Manatua – One Polynesia Cable is the result of three years of work. The project has been in the testing phase since completing the cable lay in January 2020 and has been delivered on time despite disruptions caused by global Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Manatua Cable is a physical embodiment of the Polynesian leaders’ shared vision of a connected Pacific region; delivering fast, reliable and affordable internet for all,” added Tuilaepa Malielegaoi, prime minister of the Independent State of Samoa.

“It will strengthen our cultural connections, drive economic development and employment, and create the foundation for the digital transformation of all our countries.”

Once operational, the Manatua cable will deliver 10Tbps on each of its two optical fibre pairs, over its 25-year lifespan.