The Samoa government has launched a $US49-million project which establishes the country's first locally-owned submarine cable company.
The Minister for the Ministry of Communication, Information and Technology, Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau says the Samoa Submarine Cable Company is an innovative case of private partnership.
He says it's a marriage of Samoa telecom carriers, Bluesky and Digicel, the Computer Service Limited, and Samoa financial investors the Samoa National Provident Fund, the Unit Trust of Samoa and the Samoa Life Assurance Corporation.
"SSCC will strengthen Samoa's communication links to the world. The cable will span 1,300 kilometres and link Samoa's largest islands of Upolu and Savai'i to the Southern Cross cable network in Suva, Fiji."
Tuisugaletaua says it will mean improved internet for Samoans, while the new cable will also allow existing carriers to reduce internet costs substantially.
He says the project will take 18 months to build and come into service.
The project has been established with financial assistance from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.