Australia, Japan, and the United States of America have committed to assist the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Kiribati, and the Republic of Nauru to improve internet connectivity in these three Pacific nations by providing funding to build a new undersea cable.
The proposed undersea cable will provide faster, high quality, and more reliable and secure communications to approximately 100,000 people across three countries.
The six countries issued over the weekend joint statements about the new undersea cable project. The joint statements were issued by Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, Japan Minister of Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, FSM President David W. Panuelo, Kiribati President Taneti Maamau, and Nauru President Lionel Aingimea.
They said this undersea cable will support increased economic growth, drive development opportunities, and help to improve living standards as the region recovers from the severe impacts of COVID-19.
The new cable will connect Kosrae, Nauru, and Tarawa (Kiribati) with the existing HANTRU-1 cable in Pohnpei, providing internet connectivity through a submarine cable for the first time.
They said this six-country collaboration highlights their commitment to work together on critical telecommunications infrastructure and contribute to reliable and secure internet for the region.
“We will continue to coordinately closely with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to ensure this project complements investments by these institutions to enhance digital connectivity in FSM, Kiribati, and Nauru,” said the leaders in the joint statements.
They said this is more than an infrastructure investment as it represents an enduring partnership to deliver practical and meaningful solutions at a time of unprecedented economic and strategic challenges in their region.
The project, they said, builds on the strong foundations of trilateral collaboration between Australia, Japan, and the United States in the Indo-Pacific, including support for Palau’s undersea cable.