2 Jun 2017

Remote Pacific regions to get broadband

1:22 pm on 2 June 2017

Parts of Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia will soon have access to broadband internet thanks to $US36 million worth of grants approved by the World Bank this week.

Urban v Rural broadband.

Urban v Rural broadband. Photo: 123RF

The grants, including $US20 million for Kiribati and $US16.26 million for FSM, will finance the installation of a submarine cable system connecting Tarawa to Nauru, and Kosrae state to Pohnpei state.

The Asian Development Bank is preparing finance to support Nauru's participation in the cable system.

Beach and traditional hut surrounded by wall of tyres

The tyre wall helps protect buildings from the tide on Tarawa in Kiribati. Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

The World Bank's Pacific director Michel Kerf said the connections would play a crucial role in linking families, creating economic and employment opportunities, reducing transaction costs, providing options for remote education and healthcare, and boosting national and international co-ordination.

The underwater cable systems for Yap and Chuuk states are set for installation late 2017 and are expected to be ready for service early next year.

No timeline has been given for Kiribati.

Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia

Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia Photo: Supplied

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