Jump to Content

Connecting the South Pacific with new subsea cables

October 25, 2023
Brian Quigley

VP, Global Network Infrastructure, Google Cloud

Today, we’re announcing plans for the South Pacific Connect initiative, which will deliver two new transpacific subsea cables — Honomoana and Tabua — to help increase the reliability and resilience of digital connectivity in the Pacific.

In collaboration with a number of partners, including Fiji International Telecommunications, Office of Posts and Telecommunications of French Polynesia, APTelecom and Vocus Group, the South Pacific Connect initiative will deliver new international subsea cables connecting Fiji and French Polynesia to both the United States and Australia.

Honomoana, named after the Polynesian word for “link” (hono) and “ocean” (moana), will connect the United States and Australia to French Polynesia. Tabua, named after a sacred Fijian whale’s tooth, will connect the United States and Australia to Fiji.

In addition, the South Pacific Connect initiative will construct physically diverse cable landing stations in Fiji and French Polynesia and connect them with an interlink cable. This will serve to connect transpacific routes, improve reliability, add capacity, and reduce latency for users in the Pacific Islands and around the world.

The South Pacific Connect initiative will create a ring between Australia, Fiji and French Polynesia. This ring will include pre-positioned branching units that will allow other countries and territories of Oceania to take advantage of the reliability and resilience resulting from the initiative. This is one of the first projects of its kind in the Pacific, providing the ability to bring redundant international connectivity to a region that is susceptible to natural disasters.

"The Government of Fiji is delighted to partner with Google in achieving this momentous milestone to bolster digital connectivity and resilience. Our shared vision is to pave the way for a more interconnected and fortified digital future not only for Fiji but also for the entire Pacific region and beyond. Through this partnership, we aim to leave behind a lasting legacy of economic growth, skill development, and progress that extends its benefits to all. Fiji expresses its profound gratitude to Google for this collaboration and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to support this transformative initiative, dedicated to fostering peace, prosperity, and a brighter future for our people and the broader global community," said Prime Minister of Fiji, Honorable Sitiveni Rabuka.

“The government of French Polynesia has chosen the digital economy as one of the four key sectors for economic and social development. We could not wish for a better partner than Google in this endeavor,” said President Moetai Brotherson of French Polynesia.

"Fintel is excited to be supporting the South Pacific Connect initiative alongside the multinational technology company, Google. This will strengthen Fintel and Fiji's telecommunications hub status and provide the much needed reliable and resilient connectivity between the people of the Pacific and the rest of the world," said Fiji International Telecommunications CEO George Samisoni.

“Vocus is delighted to be the partner of choice for Google to deliver the South Pacific Connect initiative, which will significantly uplift the capacity, reliability, and resilience of Australia’s international connectivity. The system will establish three diverse Australian landings along with dual cable paths to the US, substantially improving the resilience of Australia’s critical connections to the world,” said Vocus CEO Ellie Sweeney.

“Since 2010, OPT has started to build its submarine cable network to allow access to the internet for the French Polynesia population and reduce the digital divide for remote islands. As such, after Honotua (2010) linking Tahiti to Hawaii, Natitua (2018 and 2023) linking 22 islands of Tuamotu, Marquisas and Australes archipelagos to Tahtiti, Manatua (2020) linking Tahiti to Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa, OPT is proud to partner with Google to expand its network and expertise in this fantastic project for our region and communities,” said Jean-Francois Martin, CEO of OPT.

“Increasing the reliability and resilience of digital connectivity in the Pacific is a fundamental objective of APTelecom and collaborating with Google is a great example of how companies can work together to accelerate and deliver connectivity solutions that will change the world,” said Eric Handa, CEO of APTelecom.

Subsea cables improve internet affordability and reliability, leading to economic development and productivity gains. With more access to digital services, people can develop new skills that open up career opportunities, while businesses and public sector organizations can better serve their customers and constituents. We are excited about what this means for our users and Google Cloud customers in the Pacific and around the world.

We look forward to sharing more as we work closely with our partners to bridge the digital divide and improve Pacific connectivity.

Posted in