BY BERNADETTE H. CARREON
Palau Correspondent

Payne

NGARDMAU, Palau — With the groundbreaking of the Cable Landing Station in Ngardmau State on Dec. 3, Palau’s second internet cable is on its way to reality.

(Next para from the Embassy of Japan in Palau)

The $30 million public-private cable project is jointly funded by Australia, Japan and the United States. According to the Embassy of Japan in Palau, Japan has provided a total of $8 million in loans, with $4 million from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and $4 million from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. In addition, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance is also supporting the project. NEC, which laid the first submarine cable in Palau, will physically lay the second submarine cable of110 kms.

BSCC DXN Ltd. of Australia has already completed the design and has begun fabrication of the modular.

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise A. Payne attended the event.

She said Palau’s second internet cable will help ensure reliable, secure digital connectivity in Palau.

The groundbreaking for Palau’s second internet cable was held Dec 3 in Ngardmau.
Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Japan in Palau

“Under the Trilateral Partnership for Infrastructure Investment in the Indo-Pacific, Australia is working with Palau, Japan, and the United States to deliver infrastructure projects in the region,” she said.

In her Facebook page following the event, Payne said, “This cable will help ensure reliable, secure digital connectivity in Palau, which will open up opportunities for tourism, business and investment, and enhanced government services, including health and education.

Payne also officially opened the Embassy of Australia in Palau during her visit from Dec. 2 to Dec. 4.

In a press release, the Belau Submarine Cable Corp. said the second submarine cable (due to be laid by the end of 2022 according to the Embassy of Japan in Palau) will be ready for service by the third quarter of 2023. 

President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. said he was delighted to see the project moving into the construction phase.

“The work will be a nice boost for the economies of Ngardmau and Palau,” he said. “But the real benefits will come from securing Palau’s connections to the international community.”

Ngardmau Governor Blesoch J. Aderkeroi welcomed other dignitaries to his state, including U.S.  Ambassador to Palau John Hennessey-Niland; Ambassador of Japan to Palau Akira Karasawa; Australian Ambassador to Palau Richelle Turner and Minister for Public infrastructure and Industries Charles Obichang.

(The following from Journal files/story in May 2020)

The second internet cable will provide redundancy, enabling the government to continue to provide e-services, businesses to operate in a global market and family members to connect with each other.

According to Journal files, the government of Australia funded a $561,000 marine survey in preparation for the second internet submarine cable in May 2020.

In 2016, Australia provided Palau AU $2,000,000 to land the first submarine cable and support regulatory and policy reforms in Palau’s information and communications sector. mbj