Australia is part of a multi-partner effort with the Governments of Palau, the United States and Japan to construct a second submarine fibre optic cable system for the Republic of Palau.
The system will be a dedicated branch off the proposed ECHO cable network.
In December 2017, Palau connected its first undersea cable. As a result, bandwidth usage in Palau has increased by around seven times in just three years and today, nearly every household in the nation has access to fixed line and mobile telephony. However, Palau does not currently have any internet connections that provide redundancy for its first cable. This is a disincentive for private investment and an impediment to development.
The new system marks the first project to be delivered under the Trilateral Partnership for Infrastructure Investment in the Indo-Pacific between the United States, Australia and Japan.
The Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific is contributing approximately USD10 million, including a loan of approximately USD9 million.
The Belau Submarine Cable Corporation (BSCC) and the governments of Japan, the United States and Palau
The new spur cable will ensure reliable, secure digital connectivity in Palau. Given the geographic remoteness of Palau, improving connectivity and internet access will open up opportunities to boost tourism, business and investment, and to provide better government services, including health and education.
The project will assist Palau in its post-COVID recovery by creating local jobs and supporting the recovery of Palau’s tourism sector. Immediate opportunities for the private sector will be realised with the construction of local land-based infrastructure.