Dig­i­cel in­vests heav­ily in new Samoa to Fiji sub­ma­rine ca­ble

Fiji Sun - - Fiji Today - AATIKA PA­TEL EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL

Dig­i­cel has an­nounced that it is in­vest­ing in a new sub­ma­rine ca­ble from Samoa to Fiji as part of its re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity build-up. Dig­i­cel Group chair­man, De­nis O’Brien, who’s in the coun­try cur­rently, made this an­nounce­ment yes­ter­day dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Suva. Mr O’Brien, although not giv­ing the in­vest­ment amount exactly, did con­firm it was a very big in­vest­ment for the group.

It is un­der­stood this in­vest­ment is be­ing car­ried out in part­ner­ship with a num­ber of agen­cies and or­gan­i­sa­tions. “It’s a very ad­vanced project at the mo­ment and it should be here by Au­gust 2017,” he said.

The sub­ma­rine ca­ble is a fi­bre op­tic ca­ble and will be for gen­eral con­nec­tiv­ity of data traf­fic. It is ex­pected to re­duce the cost of in­ter­net and in­crease in­ter­net speed in Samoa gen­er­ally. Cur­rently, the South­ern Cross Ca­ble Net­work is the only in­ter­na­tional sub­ma­rine ca­ble in Fiji. Mr O’Brien fur­ther gave the com­pany’s com­mit­ment for con­tin­ued in­vest­ment here given that Fiji is seen as a shin­ing bea­con for ICT de­vel­op­ing and in­vest­ment. “It is mainly be­cause the skill and knowl­edge based here is so high,” he said, “We want to play a full role in terms of con­nect­ing of the is­lands, in­vest­ing in sub­ma­rine ca­bles, in­vest­ing in the most mod­ern tech­nol­ogy avail­able and achieve greater broad­band pen­e­tra­tions.

“Ob­vi­ously, Fiji is the most eco­nom­i­cally-de­vel­oped coun­try in the re­gion. It has many far-sighted reg­u­la­tory plans within the Gov­ern­ment in terms of de­vel­op­ing broad­band pen­e­tra­tion. “So we think Fiji is a great base in­vestor in that and we are en­cour­aged.” Look­ing at the di­rec­tion Fiji is headed in, Mr O’Brien said the Dig­i­cel Group is very pos­i­tive in terms of in­vest­ing more money re­gion­ally and also in Fiji. Dig­i­cel Group chief ex­ec­u­tive, Colm Delves, con­firmed they have an in­vest­ment pro­gramme for Fiji for the next 12 to 18 months.

Photo: AATIKA PA­TEL

From left: Dig­i­cel Fiji chief ex­ec­u­tive, Dar­ren McLean, Dig­i­cel Group chair­man, De­nis O’Brien, Dig­i­cel Head of Mar­ket­ing, Sh­eryl Singh, and Dig­i­cel Group chief ex­ec­u­tive, Colm Delves yes­ter­day.

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