27 Jan 2018

Australia takes over Solomons cable due to concerns over Huawei

11:21 am on 27 January 2018

Australia will finance a new high-speed internet cable between it and Solomon Islands, after security concerns were raised about a Chinese company contracted to build the project.

The ABC reports the Solomon Islands government signed a deal with Huawei to build the underwater internet connection last year.

But that sparked concerns in Australia about China's growing influence in the region and the prospect of Huawei gaining access to Australia's internet infrastructure.

The Australian government has harboured doubts about the Chinese state-owned company for years and blocked it from tendering for Australia's Broadband Network in 2012.

Australia's foreign department said the Sydney based company Vocus had been contracted to undertake a scoping study of the Australia to Solomons cable.

The ABC said it's unclear what the decision means for the Solomons' deal with Huawei.