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New Caledonia to connect to Hawaiki cable by 2021

02 Dec 2019

New Caledonian carrier The Société Calédonienne de Connectivité Internationale (SCCI) and Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP have signed a multi million dollar deal to connect New Caledonia to the Hawaiki Cable.

The deal will provide SCCI with a turnkey solution and branch cable that will allow the country to connect to Hawaiki, including a subsea branch to Noumea and significant capacity on the transpacific cable.

The Hawaiki cable is a 14,000-kilometre carrier-neutral submarine cable that connects Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Oregon in mainland United States. The cable has a design capacity of 67 Tbps.

It was launched in July 2018 and it recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its connection to American Samoa. In that short time, the US territory has reported a 10-times increase in internet speeds and an exponential increase in business and residential connections, according to Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP.

Now New Caledonia’s Main Island and Isle of Pines will connect to the cable through a customised network design. Previously, New Caledonia was only connected through one submarine cable, operated by a government-owned carrier.

Launched during a traditional tribal ceremony attended by the custom chiefs of Isle of Pines’ eight tribes, government and business officials, the new cable has been named ‘Tomoo’, which is the local nââ kwênyii word for the “tricot rayé” indigenous sea snake, a source of protection according to tribal legends.

“This project is critical not only for the development of the Isle of Pines, but for the whole territory of New Caledonia,” says 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.”

SCCI managing director Steffen Holzt says New Caledonia’s highest officials have recognised Tomoo’s importance.

“We have received very supportive comments from the Government and the business community, and look forward to helping accelerate the digital development of New Caledonia,” says Holzt.

Hawaiki chief sales officer Virgine Frouin adds, “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.”

Tomoo is scheduled for completion by 2021.