Forwarding an email from a friend of this blog. Fiji will have to consider making a similar investment.

Source: Pacific Magazine

Worldwide map of cables

Worldwide map of under-sea internet cables

02 SEPTEMBER 2008 NOUMEA (Pacnews) —— Internet connections in New Caledonia have been given a significant boost on Monday when the newly-installed undersea fibre optic cable was officially commissioned, reports Oceania Flash.  

The 2,200 kilometre cable, nicknamed “Gondwana”, now links the French Pacific territory to Sydney (Australia), with an added bandwith and a much-awaited alternative to the satellite-only connections.

Local post and telecom company OPT General Manager Jean-François Ollivaud said the investment was in the tune of some six billion French Pacific Francs (US$75.5 million).

The cable was installed earlier this year by French company Alcatel Lucent. The investment required OPT subscribing a loan of some
US$50 million
Internet users can now experience a much faster connection, up to seven times faster than the current speed.

OPT is now offering cheaper rates, which are also reflected in the new rates offered by the four local Internet Service Providers.
But the average connection for a speed of 500 kilobytes per second (kbps) is still 10,000 French Pacific Francs (US$25). It  also means that for the same price, subscribers can now double up their speed.

However, OPT is now planning to go further in the price reduction for the less favoured, with a plan to introduce a “bottom” access to ASDL broadband at a speed of 128 kbps for about US$50 a month.

New Caledonia’s government spokesman Pascal Vittori said the main objective of the new cable was to allow a drop in the cost of Internet, therefore a wider access for a wider fringe of the population.

In French Polynesia, the local government is also seriously considering a similar cable link to Hawaii. The investment cost has been valued at some US$122 million.
Meanwhile, in the third French Pacific territory, Wallis and Futuna, the local OPT has also announced last week a new development: it now has its very own domain name, the .wf (dot WF).
Before that, a typical Wallis and Futuna-hosted e-mail address would end with, a clear sign of a dependence upon New Caledonia…….PNS (ENDS)