Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i

3,107-mile undersea cable connects Hawaii, Tahiti

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, June 24, 2010) - The test period has started for Honotua, the fiber optic multi-media communications cable which will provide high-speed internet in French Polynesia.

High-speed internet should be available for all Tahitian customers in September, Minister in charge of the Economy Teva Rohfritsch announced Wednesday in Papeéte.

The final mile of the Honotua submarine cable was installed on the Big Island of Hawai΄i last March.

However, the government said the cable only got a temporary authorization so far from US officials.

Rohfritsch criticized the former OPT officials claiming they should have waited to have a final authorization before launching the project.

He also said the Honotua project will turn French Polynesia into a "digital heaven."

International call centers, for European companies for instance, could well be created in Tahiti thanks to Honotua, Rohfritsch said.

Honotua is a 3,107-mile (5,000-km) submarine fiber optic cable linking French Polynesia with Hawai΄i. The cable’s biggest depth is 19,500 feet (5,944 meters).

The Honotua cable is a five-year-old project with an overall 9.5 billion French Pacific franc (US$110.5m/€796m) cost.

Honotua will increase the speed of transferring digital information from today’s maximum Internet speed of 500 megabits per second to more than 20 gigabits per second, or 40 times faster.

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