Tonga-Fiji Fibre-optic installation to begin with “formal ceremony”

Tonga Cable Limited (TCL) is planning a “formal ceremony” to mark the laying out of the fibre optic from Fiji to Tonga when it will arrive in “Nuku'alofa on the 11th of June 2013’.

The Alcatel Lucent’s Ile de Re ship, will roll out the 850km Tonga-Fiji fibre optical submarine cable system and has left Fiji on May 31 heading to Tonga.

The mission will provide the 100,000 Tongan residents with powerful broadband services such as streaming video and high-speed Internet access.

Statement from Tonga Government says “There will be a soft launch to mark the physical arrival in the Kingdom of this long awaited lightning speed telecommunication tool. The government and TCL are planning a formal ceremony to mark the momentous event. This will be led by Prime Minister, Lord Tu'ivakano and his cabinet and some 200 guests are expected to join in the celebration.

“Once the cable arrives, digging of an underground connecting tunnel will begin from its seaside-landing site to its landing station directly across the road (Vuna) at the newly built TCL Headquarter in Sopu.

“On the 13th of June, the ship will be moored at the Vuna Wharf where invited guests can view the ship throughout the day.

“Following, TCL will conduct a lot of connectivity tests before the system will be fully functional by the end of July 2013. There are technical, configuration and link tests to be carried out not only between Fiji and Tonga but also between Tonga and the Southern Cross Cable Network, the Fiji based network company that will connect Tonga to the Global Telecommunications Network. There will also be link tests within the domestic cabling/network system, that is, between TCL and local Internet Service Providers such as TCC, Digicel and others. Local connections will start rolling out progressively from Nuku'alofa immediately after, beginning with selected locations.

The Government of Tonga is grateful to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for funding this colossal project, which will haul Tonga into the global era of modern and instant telecommunication. With this high capacity information highway, Tonga can now access high-speed internet at more affordable prices. Broadband offers endless economic opportunities both domestically and internationally”.

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