Google Partnership to Bolster Pacific Digital Connectivity

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Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka this week unveiled a partnership with Google that promises to bridge the digital gap in the Pacific and bolster connectivity across the region.

The South Pacific Connect Initiative will lay the foundation for a new subsea cable, linking the United States, Fiji, Australia, and French Polynesia.

Google is set to construct cable landing stations in Fiji and interlink them with transpacific routes, enhancing reliability, and capacity, and reducing latency for users not only in the Pacific but around the globe. The project includes the Tabua Cable, connecting the United States, Australia, and Fiji, as well as the Honomoana Cable, which will link the United States to French Polynesia and Australia.

Of significant note is the subsea cable connecting Fiji and French Polynesia, offering potential benefits for other Pacific Island nations and territories.

Making the announcement, Rabuka said the investment is poised to revolutionise digital connectivity in Fiji and the broader South Pacific region, providing a robust and reliable network, expanded capacity, and minimal delays for users.

“Together, we are forging a stronger, more connected, and resilient digital future for Fiji, the Pacific, and beyond, creating a legacy of economic growth, skill development, and progress for all. The Government of Fiji is extremely grateful for this partnership with Google and is committed to supporting this exciting and transformative initiative,” Rabuka said.

“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the collaborators engaged in this groundbreaking endeavor. Additionally, we acknowledge the support of the United States and Australian Governments, to this project, allowing for potential future submarine cable connections to other Pacific Island countries.”

Brian Quigley, VP of Global Network Infrastructure at Google Cloud, highlighted their commitment to making information universally accessible and useful.

“Google is committed to collaborate with the Fiji Government and FINTEL to build out the reach, reliability, and resiliency of internet access in the country and across the Pacific,” said Brian Quigley, VP, Global Network Infrastructure, Google Cloud.”

Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communication Minister Manoa Kamikamica underscored the game-changing potential of the Tabua Cable, fostering diversification, strengthening the Fiji economy, and solidifying Fiji’s position as the Pacific hub.

“The establishment of the Tabua Cable will deliver the robust redundancy needed to support and enable new investments and growth in ICT, business process outsourcing services, and new sectors. More importantly, it provides the opportunity to connect with the rest of the Pacific, solidifying Fiji’s ambitions to be the hub of the Pacific and extending benefits throughout the region. Submarine cables have a well-demonstrated history of driving economic growth and improving productivity. Enhanced availability of digital services enables people to develop new skills, opening up new career prospects. Furthermore, enterprises and government entities can more effectively cater to their clients and citizens, contributing to notable advancements,” Kamikamica said.

Google has collaborated with key stakeholders, including FINTEL and the FNPF.

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