Fiber optic cable will be "ready for service" to Yap, Chuuk, and Palau by Dec. 31st

The SEA-US trans-pacific cable will connect Palau, Yap, and FSM to Guam and the U.S.
Guam - A consortium of technology companies gathered together with leaders from Yap, FSM, and Palau to build a submarine cable system to provide better telecommunications services to the Micronesia.

This morning, a commemoration ceremony was held for the construction of submarine fiber optic cables connecting Palau, Yap, and Chuuk. The SEA-US consortium is made up of telecommunications companies Telin from Indonesia, Globe Telecom from the Philippines, GTA from Guam, and Hawaiian Telecom and RTI from the United States. The cables started being laid out early this morning, and the main cable will pass north of Palau and Yap. Master of Ceremonies, Keobel Sakuma, announced that the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

"It’s a new Trans-Pacific submarine cable system that will run from Indonesia to California via the Philippines, Guam, and Hawaii. This cable runs just north of Palau and Yap, making it an ideal ‘cable of opportunity’ to take advantage of," Sakuma announced. "The timeline for the ‘ready for service’ date, or when we can actually plug in, is December 31. So, we’re holding NEC to that date."

NEC is the supplier from Japan that has been contracted to construct the cables. NEC General Manager, Toru Kawauchi, said while complications are always possible, he believes these can be overcome, and the deadline can be met.

"I’m not sure that during the construction, we may face some obstacles. But together with Belau Submarine Corporation and FSM Telecom Cable Corporation, we will be able to overcome every single challenge before us," Kawauchi said.

The Submarine Cable Commemoration Ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Guam.


  • Sounds great. What is the cost and who is paying for it?
  • Good question. I don't know, but I assume that since the upfront cost appears to be fronted by the for-profit corporations listed in the article, they expect a return on their investment by way of subscribers (people/business/government offices) that pay for the service. So essentially those who want internet service are the ones paying for it (over a long period of time). Maybe someone knows something I don't know though.
  • Here's your answer: World Bank grant for FSM and ADB loan for Palau:

    HAGÅTÑA — Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia signed an interconnection agreement on Thursday with Philippines and Indonesian carriers that will allow the two Pacific island states to tap into a new submarine cable network that directly connects Southeast Asia and the United States.

    “I am delighted to see this milestone marked today. The submarine fiber network will be critical to so many aspects of our life in Palau, from healthcare to education, from social networking to business,” Palau President Tommy Remengesau said following the ceremonial signing at Hyatt Regency Guam.

    The high-speed undersea cable system is currently being installed by Japan’s NEC Corp., the cable network supplier, and is anticipated to be up and running by the end of the year.

    George Rechucher, chairman of Belau Submarine Cable Corp. or BSCC, signed the agreement with Ernest Cu, Globe Telecom’s CEO, for Palau. On FSM’s side, Transportation, Communication & Infrastructure Secretary Lukner Weilbacher signed a similar contract with Pak Nanang Hendarno, chief technology officer of Telekomunikasi Indonesia International or Telin.

    Globe Telecom (Philippines) and Telin (Indonesia) are major owners of SEA-US, a new cable that will link Indonesia and the Philippines to the U.S. via Guam and Hawaii, in partnership with GTA (Guam), Hawaiian Telecom and RAM Telecom International.

    The agreements provide for spur submarine fiber optic cables currently under construction from Palau and Yap in FSM to interconnect with the SEA-US cable for onward transport to Guam.

    “We are progressing toward our goal of Ready for Service by the end of 2017. We are confident we are on target,” Rechucher said.

    In a press statement, NEC Corp. said it has commenced construction of three submarine cable links that will connect Palau, Yap and Chuuk to the rest of the world.

    Palau’s portion of the project is funded through a $25- million loan from the Asian Development Bank; while FSM has secured a separate grant from the World Bank.

    Construction of the spur from Ngeremlengui state in Palau to the SEA-US cable to the north is well advanced, with the modular cable landing station expected to arrive at Koror next week. From there it will be transported by barge to the landing site for installation.

    Currently Palau relies entirely on satellite links for Internet connectivity. The high cost and limited bandwidth restrict Internet penetration. In Palau, the Internet is accessed by only 25 percent of the population, while 90 percent have access to mobile phones.

    “Palau has seen the need for a submarine cable for many years, recognizing the many national and economic benefits such facilities bring,” Rechucher said. “However, the scope for a cost-effective connection for Palau was limited until the SEA-US cable was contracted, SEA-US being a major submarine cable express route passing close to the shores of Palau.”

    Officials said the Interconnection Agreements provide for five 100 gigabit per second wavelengths to Guam, more than 1000 times the current capacity available in Palau, and will provide a big boost to businesses, schools, hospitals and clinics, government services, entertainment and social networking.

    “BSCC has been positioned to deliver abundant capacity to our retail service providers in Palau at cost, ensuring maximum benefit to the community and commerce,” Palau’s Finance Minister Elbuchel Sadang said. “We expect our service providers will step up to the plate and make the most of this opportunity to transform their businesses.”

    The extension from Pohnpei, the capital of FSM, to Chuuk branches out of another existing cable linking FSM, the Marshall Islands and Guam. All three routes feature transmission speeds of 100 Gigabit per second per channel.

    “FSM has adopted a national policy to connect all four FSM states (Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae) with fiber optic cable systems. In 2009, the HANTRU-1 cable system landed in the state of Pohnpei,” Weilbacher said

    “With the WB grant funded project that became effective in March 2015, and through FSM’s collaboration and partnership with Palau and SEA-US, FSM is now on the cusp of securing cable connections to all of the FSM states. By the completion of this project, service providers in the FSM will be able to offer broadband connectivity to virtually the entire population of the FSM at competitive prices.”
  • Not to be a pessimist on this subject but how does this complete all the FSM States? Are we forgetting about Kosrae?
  • Finally!! After ten years of suppression on by FSM Telecom management even when they have no legitimate reasons for dragging their feet against helping this happen. Is it because Takuro had passed away and John Sohl is too sore on his dragging feet now? Drugged out CEO?
  • I am optimistic about Palau though since they have already moved forward with the creation of Belau Submarine Cable Corporation which is a separate entity and has pledged to provide service at cost to enable its service providers a competitive market.

    This is the first I've heard of FSM Telecom Cable Corporation. Is this an offshoot of FSM Telecom Corporation and if so, how does this play into the liberalization of the telecom market in the FSM?
  • Apparently according to a system admin at fsmtc, about 75% of the daily bandwidth for all of the FSM is used to view online porn. Only 5% is for email, and 10% is for Facebooking, the other 10% is used by the 5 eyes spy networks to spy and monitor on the phone, email, and internet traffic.

  • Finally someone is thinking about the old farts. Just ask a grand son to show the app and off you go at the comfort of the bedroom like old times.
    That's sexual advancement big time.
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