The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank Group, and the Government of Australia joined Samoa’s government to celebrate the arrival of high-speed internet in the country.
Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, who gave a keynote speech, led the ribbon cutting and the switching on of the cable, delivering fast internet to the people of Samoa.
“Today is a historical occasion for Samoa and the beginning of a new era as the country, for the first time, connects to high-speed internet,” said Prime Minister Malielegaoi. “Faster, reliable internet at more affordable prices is a real opportunity for Samoa.”
The project is supported by grants from ADB, the World Bank, and the governments of Australia and Samoa. ADB provided $25 million, the World Bank contributed $16 million, the Samoa Submarine Cable Company provided $8.18 million in equity, the Government Samoa covered taxes and duties worth $6.73 million, and the Government of Australia provided $1.5 million.
“The new submarine cable system is a critical step in Samoa’s international connectivity and will help businesses to expand, create jobs, and facilitate access to remote health and education services,” said Bambang Susantono, ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development.
The new 1,300-kilometer system links the country’s largest islands, Upolu and Savai’i, to the Southern Cross Cable Network in Suva, Fiji, and to the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands via a spur.
“The World Bank stands as a proud partner in working with the government of Samoa to continue bridging the digital divide—helping people across the country to seize new opportunities across commerce, education, health, and government service delivery,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea and Pacific.