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Cook Islands Manatua cable bid evaluation complete
8:07 pm GMT+12, 20/05/2018, Cook Islands

 The bid evaluation for the Manatua cable has been completed and is awaiting ‘no objection’ from the funding partners of owners of the cable, namely French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa, before confirmation of the successful bidder.  
 
The cost for the supply of the entire Manatua cable system provided by bidders ranged from $45 - $54 million (US$31-US$37 million), which will be divided amongst the four owners of the cable.    
 
New Zealand has committed to the Cook Islands, NZD$15 million (US$10 million), as its contribution towards our portion of the cost for the Manatua system.  The balance of $15 million will be sourced from the ADB, as outlined in the Budget 2017/18 and in the pre-election budget update.  These funds will cover costs of not only the cable itself, but also the costs associated with cable landing stations, project administration and initial transit capacity.   
 
The Cook Islands participation in the Manatua project is a response to the public wanting better connectivity and pricing for capacity.  It is envisaged that Manatua will deliver this.  Having a submarine cable system service the Cook Islands has been in the pipeline for many years, since former Prime Minister Jim Marurai expressed interest in joining the SPIN submarine cable project in 2008.
 
Submarine cable technology is tried and proven technology, and countries around the world continue to install submarine cable systems, despite new advances in satellite technology.  No doubt, new satellite inventions will complement the more fixed and reliable submarine cable systems.  
 
The Manatua cable will service Aitutaki and Rarotonga, where the majority of the population, commercial activity and social services are concentrated.  Satellite solutions for the rest of the Pa Enua will complement the fiber optic connection provided by Manatua.  A mix of the submarine cable (connected to both Samoa and Tahiti) and satellite provides the Cook Islands flexibility, resilience and redundancy offered by both systems.  
 
A multi-country Project Steering Group (PSG) is progressing the work on behalf of the four countries. The Cook Islands is represented on the PSG by Elizabeth Wright-Koteka.

SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS GOVT/PACNEWS


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