NMI’s second undersea cable online by May ’17


The CNMI’s second undersea cable is expected to go online by May 2017, according to Docomo Pacific brand manager Danny Daniels and Docomo ATISA Submarine Cable project manager Liezl R. Balan.

ATISA is the name of the undersea fiber optic cables that is currently being installed by Docomo.

Daniels shared a quick background of what ATISA is and what it means.

“Atisa is a Chamorro word. It actually means to accelerate, to increase the speed, or a glow of light. Coincidentally, when they connect the undersea cables, it is the correct terminology to use when they mean ‘to light up,’” he said.

Through ATISA the CNMI would be able to experience Internet speeds the islands have yet to experience, along with many other perks.

“It’s broadband Internet, so it’s faster. It’s going to enable our network to deliver 4G and LTE speeds. We are going to be able to have options when you watch TV. Now, TV is going to have HD,” Daniels said.

The fiber optic cable is going to connect Saipan, Tinian, and Rota to Guam.

“This means this region will be able to get better connectivity, more channels for consumers, and more competition, which provides choices for the consumer,” said Balan.

Laying an undersea fiber optic cable may impact the marine wildlife. Recognizing that, Docomo has been coordinating with environmental government agencies.

“We’re trying to make the biggest impact with the least impact,” said Daniels.

Balan shared that both local and federal agencies were a big help to the project.

“The agencies both on the local and federal level have been so instrumental. We’ve established great relationships. Our plan was to do this, but to do it right by the Marianas,” she said.

“We wanted to consider environmental impacts, such as effects to corals, turtle nesting grounds, etc. We really wanted to partner with the local agencies and the federal agencies to make sure that we weren’t missing anything,” Balan added.

Docomo Pacific has worked with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Quality, Department of Public Lands, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Coastal Resources Management, and the CNMI Legislature, to name a few.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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