The extension of the cable to outer islands of Vava’u and Ha’apai is already approved by the Government. The cable between Tongatapu and Vava’u will be an unrepeated cable system with approximate length of 380km which includes a Branching Unit for Ha’apai.
The preliminary studies for the extension are completed; tender documents is prepared and is expected to be issued soon.
BETTER CONNECTION FOR OUTER ISLANDS OF TONGA
Following the commissioning of the international segment of the fibre optic cable system between Tongatapu (main island group of Tonga) and Fiji, Tonga Cable Limited (TCL) with support of World Bank and ADB has initiated a study to identify the best option for providing more efficient and cheaper telecommunication connection for outer island groups in Tonga.
The immediate objectives of the Project are to improve the enabling environment for telecommunications and ICT in outer island groups of Tonga and promote increased access to infrastructure and services by reducing the costs of connectivity.
The purpose of the study is to compare 3 possible solutions to bring broadband connectivity and international connection to the island groups of Ha’apai and Vava’u.
The study will consider the following three options;
- Unrepeatered submarine cable connecting Nuku’alofa with Ha’apai and Vava’u. The connection to Ha’apai will be through a Branching Unit spur on the trunk cable between Tongatapu and Vava’u.
- Repeatered cable to serve both island groups with a branching unit leg to be readily available for a connection for future extension of the cable. In this configuration both island groups would be connected via OADM BU.
- Satellite solution through utilising various satellite systems.
The report will provide a full technical evaluation as well as social and economic impact for all three options.
As this project was considered a continuation of the International Segment, Ocean Specialist Inc. who assisted TCL in implementation of the main project was selected to carry out the above study.
The contract with OSI was signed on 7th February 2014 and report is expected to be completed by first week of March.