Hawaiki Submarine Cable and its main supplier, TE SubCom, say they have completed the survey of the cable’s 14,000km route and the project remains on schedule for completion in mid-2018.
However plans to connect to a number of Pacific Islands are yet to be confirmed. Hawaiki’s route map shows landfalls in Hawaii, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga and American Samoa, but the company says: “Hawaiki will link Australia and New Zealand to the mainland United States, as well as Hawaii and American Samoa, with options to expand to several other South Pacific islands.”
The company’s plan to connect to Fiji suffered a setback in December when the World Bank announced US$5.95 million loan funding to support the construction of a new cable to connect the Southern Cross Cable network to Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second most populated island.
Nonetheless, Hawaiki says production of branching units to enable the connection of American Samoa, New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga, has commenced.
Hawaiki said SubCom has completed the route survey “for the entire Hawaiki system, including the small boat, shallow water work for all landings.”
Hawaiki CEO, Remi Galasso, said: “The information garnered from the recently completed deep water route survey will be instrumental in ensuring the long-term viability of the cable system and we are thrilled with the progress on the cable and repeater manufacturing efforts. Installation will begin later in 2017 and a fully lit system that should positively impact the entire region is soon to follow.”
However Hawaiki is still awaiting landing permits for most landfalls. Debra Brask, TE SubCom vice president, project and program management, said permits had been secured in Australia were well underway in other locations. “We continue to be on schedule for a mid-2018 completion.”