Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to Tuvalu Telecom Corporation (TTC) for a feasibility study to support the development of the Central Pacific Cable, a 15,900-kilometer subsea cable between Guam and American Samoa that will provide new or expanded connectivity to approximately 400,000 people in 12 Pacific Island countries and overseas territories in between. TTC selected Florida-based APTelecom LLC to conduct the study.
“Increasing access to secure, high-speed connectivity in the Pacific Islands is a priority for USTDA, the U.S. government, and our Pacific Island partners,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “This project will provide critical internet capacity to create economic opportunities and improve lives. This grant is just one example of USTDA’s commitment to promoting resilient, quality digital infrastructure in the region using U.S.-based solutions.”
USTDA’s study will create a high-level design for the Central Pacific Cable and assess its technical and commercial feasibility for TTC. The cable would be the first subsea cable connection to Tuvalu, which currently relies on satellite connectivity. When completed, the cable will connect American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.
“For far too long, Tuvalu has grappled with limited access to information, restricted economic opportunities, and challenges in accessing essential services,” said Tenanoia Simona, CEO of TTC. “The absence of submarine cable infrastructure has isolated our community from the global digital landscape, hindering our ability to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. As we embark on this journey, let us remember that the power of connectivity extends beyond the technical aspects of the project. It embodies the principles of unity, equality, and empowerment. The benefits will ripple through education, healthcare, commerce, governance, and cultural preservation, fostering innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people and government of the United States for their invaluable support in advancing this vital initiative.”
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Nauru and Tuvalu, Marie Damour, said: “The United States, alongside our Quad allies, supports the building of trusted, high-quality subsea cables that transform digital access in the Pacific Islands. This grant is a demonstration of the U.S. government’s commitment to forming partnerships and expanding critical infrastructure in this important sector.”
USTDA’s study advances the goals of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, and the Pacific Islands Infrastructure Initiative.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.
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