A tropical cyclone hunkering down on Samoa last night did not spoil the mood at the T.A.T.T.E. building where the much-anticipated multi-milion-tala Tui Samoa Cable project went live.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi led the ribbon cutting and the switching on of the Cable, promising faster and cheaper Internet for Samoa.
The launch ceremony was conducted by Reverend Siaosi Salesulu of the C.C.C.S. at Vailele.
Reverend Salesulu said the internet as a whole can be seen as technology that has greatly enhanced our lives.
“What started as vision and a dream is now an essential means for development and communication,” he said.
“The introduction of the internet has led to many benefits and unfortunately for the world and for Samoa, it has also come with its own sets of problems.
“Most significantly these problems can mostly impact our security and our privacy, it seems that most technological advances have been placed in the hands of fools and the irresponsible and they will use it for their insidious means.
“However, let us rejoice for today we take another giant Samoan step in the right direction for providing all Samoans with access to the internet.
“Let us ask God for his vision to pursue and believe that we can do all things we need to do through Christ.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa said the Government’s vision is to improve the lives of the people and the Tui Samoa submarine cable is one enabler that will assist in achieving the goal.
“The strategic reasons for developing the Tui Samoa Cable are to bridge the digital divide for our people and our neighbouring island nations.
“Promoting economic and social development and providing Samoa with access to fast reliable and affordable wholesale fast broadband internet.”
At the launch, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i presented Appreciation Certificates to Development Partners, Vice President of Asian Development Bank, Dr Bambang Susantono; World Bank Country Director, Michale Kerf and Australia High Commissioner in Samoa, Sue Langford.
They also gave congratulatory remarks on the milestone launching.
Afamasaga stated earlier there would be some teething problems during the transition but that’s to be expected.
“We won’t be 100 percent in realizing the supersonic powers of this cable immediately after its officiated on the 9th according to the operators,” he said.
“But this is the nature of the submarine work because immediately after, there’s been talk that the cable is coming but like I said it’s the nature of the work – nobody believes anything until it actually reaches land.”
The project is supported by grants from A.D.B., the World Bank, and the governments of Australia and Samoa.
A.D.B. provided $25 million, the World Bank contributed $16 million, the Samoa Submarine Cable Company provided $8.18 million in equity, the Government Samoa covered taxes and duties worth $6.73 million, and the government of Australia provided $1.5 million.