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NEC Corp. named as supplier for consortium creating the East Micronesia Cable System

NEC Corp. has signed a contract with the consortium behind the East Micronesia Cable System (EMCS) to construct, supply, and install a 2,250 km submarine cable network that will connect four islands within the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati and Nauru.

Per multiple media reports, the undersea cable—estimated to cost US$95 million—will connect the state of Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia, Tarawa in Kiribati and Nauru to the existing cable landing point located in Pohnpei in Micronesia. The cable consortium comprises FSM Telecommunications Cable Corp. (FSMTCC) in the FSM, BwebwerikiNet Ltd. of the Republic of Kiribati, and Nauru Fibre Cable Corp. of the Republic of Nauru.

The governments of Australia, Japan, and the U.S. will provide grant funding for the submarine cable project. The goal is to connect the East Micronesia island nations to improve networks in the Indo-Pacific region where China is increasingly expanding its influence. In a joint statement, the parties said the next steps involve a final survey and design and manufacturing of the cable. The project is scheduled for completion in 2025.

The announcement came a few weeks after leaders of the Quad, a security alliance of Japan, the United States, Australia and India, emphasized the importance of undersea cables as a critical component of communications infrastructure and the foundation for internet connectivity.“Secure and resilient digital connectivity has never been more important,” said a statement from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. “The United States is delighted to be part of this project bringing our region closer together.”

The cable will connect more than 100,000 people across the three Pacific countries, according to Kazuya Endo, director general of the international cooperation bureau at the Japanese Foreign Ministry. 

“Kosrae is the only state in FSM that remains without a submarine cable connection,” said Gordon Segal, CEO of FSMTCC and chairman of the EMCS management committee. “This project will support equal access to digital connectivity across all four states of FSM and greatly enhance our ability to access information and essential services. We thank all our project partners for their support and collaboration.”

“With the recent progress of digitalization, internet connectivity and access to digital technologies ... it is a great honor that the NEC Group can use its many years of experience in
optical submarine cable technology to contribute to the access to information and communications for residents, businesses, and governments of Pacific Island countries,” said Atsushi Kuwahara, managing director of the Submarine Network Division at NEC.

Read 706 times Last modified on June 30, 2023