By CLARISSA MOI
THE landing of the Kumul submarine cable network (KSCN) in West Sepik’s Vanimo last Monday is a milestone achievement for Papua New Guinea (PNG) and People’s Republic of China in PNG economy, commercial counsellor Liu Linlin says.
“We are delighted that the project, part-funded by the Chinese Government, signifies the cooperation between China and PNG governments,” he said.
“The cable that landed in Vanimo is very promising and is a good sign.”
In a media briefing on Thursday, Liu said the PNG Government had approached them (China) for funding support and the Chinese Exim Bank provided 85 per cent preferential buyers credit to the PNG Government to carry out the project.
“The PNG Government invested 15 per cent to kick-start the project,” said.
“The contractors are China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation which provided cable equipment with Huawei Technology Ltd carrying out the construction, maintenance land equipment for KSCN
“The KSCN, featuring 5,457km of internet cable, will provide the domestic internet platform to link 14 provinces and two national data centres in Port Moresby and Madang.
“It will connect to Jakarta through Indonesia’s national backbone submarine cable network and further connect to Asia to form a new international internet gateway.”
The first phase of the project which is System 2, was completed in December 2018 with a length of 1874km connecting Port Moresby, Alotau, Lae and Madang. System 1 is ongoing and System 3 is yet to start.
“According to the projection, by this June, the project should be completed and transferred to PNG,” Liu said.
Liu said: “PNG currently has only one international gateway which was through Australia with no provider competition.
“With the KSCN, we will have another gateway through Indonesia.
“So, this will introduce competition and enable the internet access pricing to drop or make it more affordable to all Papua New Guineans.”
He said the benefits of the project include:
- PROVIDING stable and reliable network service, enhancing speed and improve quality of internet communication;
- HELP reduce the internet pricing by introducing competition mechanism; and,
- DRIVE the digital economy to help the country’s socio-economic progress and development.
“This project is solely a fruit of the cooperation between China and PNG.
China’s loan to PNG is aimed at helping the country to develop its digital infrastructure.
“This will pave the way for PNG’s long-term economic development,” Liu added.
He said PNG was the first country in the Pacific to sign a memorandum of understanding in June 2018 to jointly work with China on the multi-trillion-dollar Belt Road Initiative (BRI).