Southern Cross Cable Network (SX) has announced that it has successfully completed the marine lay portion of its new Southern Cross NEXT (SX NEXT) cable branch into Kiritimati, Kiribati. The significant milestone was celebrated also by local SX NEXT Landing Party, BwebwerikiNET Ltd (BNL) and other senior Government Ministers of Kiribati.
President Taneti Maamau was chief guest at the cable-landing ceremony where Minister of Information, Communication, Transport, and Tourism Development (MICTTD) Tekeeua Tarati delivered the keynote speech, which marked the arrival of the cable. Pre-recorded speeches were provided by ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez and Southern Cross Cable Limited Chief Executive Officer Laurie Miller.
In a recent release by the ADB, Mr. Tarati said “Kiribati recognizes the significant impact access to high-speed and high-quality internet has on the development of a nation. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have enormous potential for socio-economic development, especially in cross-sectoral development across both the private and public sectors, be it health, education, agriculture, tourism, governance, finance, disaster management, and climate change.”
Southern Cross CEO, Mr Laurie Miller, said “Our commitment to the Southern Cross NEXT project allow us to efficiently continue to service the growing needs of the Pacific. The flexibility that Southern Cross Cables offers ensures BNL will receive low latency connectivity from Kiritimati to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the US. BNL’s involvement with the Southern Cross NEXT project will provide key infrastructure enabling Kiribati’s Government sectors to develop and enable ‘next level’ initiatives such as telemedicine and remote learning support.”
The high-speed internet services are expected to be available to Kiritimati users in July 2022 when the system achieves RFS, and will be the first fibre-optic submarine cable connection for Kiribati.