15 Feb 2016

Polynesian submarine cable as early as 2018

12:40 pm on 15 February 2016

A new submarine cable for internet communication for Polynesian countries could be laid and operational by 2018.

Talks on the development were held in New Zealand recently, and engaged the leaders of the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue and Tokelau.

The Cook Islands finance minister, Mark Brown, who was at the meeting, said they heard from two vendors for the cable - Auckland-based Hawaiki, and Bluesky.

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown Photo: Phillipa Webb / Cook Islands News

Mr Brown said the group was hoping to decide which was the most viable option by the end of next month.

He said having good internet access was becoming increasingly important for the Cook Islands.

"Currently our internet needs are being met by satellite transmission but as the increasing demand for bandwidth and broadband is continually increasing here in the Cook Islands by consumers and businesses in particular, the prospect of cable connections is becoming more and more important for us."