Palau – The Government of Palau plans to bring a second submarine cable to the island to strengthen its current telecommunication services. The government wants to secure a loan from the Asian Development Bank to fund the investment.
ADB worked with the Palau government for the North Pacific Regional Connectivity Investment Project. The two loans from ADB amounted to around $25 million in total. The project connected the island nation to the international cable hub at Guam by fiber-optic submarine cable.
Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. announced the plan pwhen he delivered his State of the Republic Address last week.
According to Remengesau, investing on the second cable would cost the government approximately $2 million per year, which is the current cost to back up Palau’s system with satellite services.
However, he said this will provide redundancy to the island system, meaning that if one cable is cut, the second cable continues to bring signal to the island.
Remengesau cited the importance of having a second cable to provide stability and reliability to the island’s telecommunications infrastructure.
Taking the example of Tonga, Saipan and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, where the cut signal eliminated internet and telephone services for extended periods of time. These incidents, he said, demonstrated the importance of continuous telecommunications services in Palau.
Palau’s first ADB supported initiative – North Pacific Regional Connectivity Investment Project – introduced the country’s first high speed broadband internet connection. Prior to the project, Palau relied on satellite links for internet connectivity.