The federal government has allocated almost $37.3 million to connect certain Pacific Island countries to the Hawaiki Nui cable system, as part of a joint Australia-US investment announced last month.
A pair of contract notices were published earlier this month for “supply and installation” of “telecommunications media services” and for an indefeasible rights of use (IRU) agreement for cable capacity.
The agreements run until the end of 2041.
iTnews understands that the two contracts relate to the ‘Innovation Alliance’ struck by the United States and Australia late last month.
Under that arrangement, US$65 million ($103 million) has been set aside to finance future submarine cable connectivity for Pacific Island countries.
Hawaiki is one beneficiary of that funding; the other is Google, which will construct an entirely new cable system.
Countries that will take a feed from branching units of either cable include the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
iTnews understands that the money allocated to Hawaiki Nui will be spent on up to five branching units, in addition to the IRU for capacity.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is yet to confirm which countries will be serviced with which cable.