Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Today we witness a significant milestone in the history of our country – the landing of the first telecommunications submarine cable in Tokelau on our shores in Nukunonu as we believed the Fiber Optic Submarine Cable connectivity is the core enabler for the development of Tokelau.
On behalf of the Teletok Board and Council – we are all proud to be part of this historical and remarkable event.
The Southern Cross Next cable connection has been made possible through the support of the Government of New Zealand. Access to Southern Cross NEXT cable opens the door of socio-economic opportunity to Tokelau and provides the first high-speed reliable international access to the global network. It marks the beginning of modernization and restructures of our telecommunications infrastructure. There are more changes already underway by Teletok – funded by the Government of Tokelau and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The original budget for the whole submarine cable project is $29.2M i.e. $22.2M contributed by the Government of New Zealand via its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and $7.0M by the Government of Tokelau. Another $1.5M was later funded by the Government of New Zealand due to the impact of foreign currency translations during the covid-19 challenging times. Therefore, the total budget for the submarine cable project both on the international and the domestic cables to this point is $30.7M.
Our only service provider, Teletok, is currently in the process of rebuilding our entire domestic telecommunication infrastructure. For the next 12 months, you will see many changes and improvements such as modern telecommunications offices in Fakaofo and Atafu which are identical to that beautiful new building in Nukunonu. The Tokelau Domestic Submarine Cable system has already been designed and manufactured to provide reliable and abundant fiber optic connectivity between the three atolls of Tokelau and will land into each atoll by the second quarter of 2022.
This new infrastructure will be the enabler for the roll-out of e-Government on e-Health, e- Education, e-Commerce, and similar services across the islands. E-Government is already in its early phase of planning to ensure service readiness before the SXNext and domestic cables are ready for service from April to May 2022. With these ongoing milestone developments, Teletok continues to focus on solutions that turn Tokelau into a leading edge of all-digital services providing smart communications and deploying new enabling technologies.
I pray that these initiatives bring life-changing benefits to us all – enhancing and reinforcing our culture and economy, resolving our remoteness by linking us closer to other parts of the world, and most importantly raising our awareness and recognition in the international and regional communities.
Above all else, I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to the Government of New Zealand for their continuous support in a herculean effort to digitize, connect and put Tokelau in the digital world and the Government of Tokelau for their trust and care for the citizens of our beautiful country.
I also want to express my appreciation to the three Taupulega and the citizens of Tokelau for their marvelous support; to all stakeholders and contractors who have been involved and committed themselves to build the Teletok cable infrastructure in Nukunonu for their wonderful work and support.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the CEO of Teletok and his staff for their hard work and dedication and also the cable project management unit headed by MCI McCann Consultancy International for their critical roles on the cable project developments to this point.
Tokelau mo te Atua, Ke ola pea Tokelau, Fakafetai lahi lele lava!