Tonga to get high-speed, cheap internet

Business, Normal

The National, Monday 20th May 2013

 TONGA will soon enjoy a high-speed internet access at cheaper cost with the arrival of the broadband system in the next two months.

Last Friday, Tonga’s national information and communication technology (ICT) day showcased the arrival of high-speed internet in July under the first phase of the Pacific regional connectivity project backed by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 

An 826km underwater fibre optic cable linking Tonga to Fiji to be commissioned in July would help increase broadband internet access and affordability for Tonga’s population of 100,000 people. 

“Tonga, which currently has some of the cheapest telephone rates in the world, also charges one the highest internet costs,” Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano said. 

“Lower price and more accessible internet would maximise the power and versatility of communications technology, to accelerate development and improve the lives of the Tongan community.

“High speed internet is coming and this promises significant benefits for social and economic development, and new job opportunities for the Tongan people,” World Bank senior ICT policy specialist Natasha Beschorner said.

Hundreds of people attended the event in Nuku’alofa, Tonga’s capital, which highlighted the benefits of cheaper and reliable internet for its people.