Australia joins Japan, US to fund undersea cable in Palau
Australia will partner with Japan and the United to finance an undersea fibre-optic cable to the Republic of Palau. The US$30 million project is set to provide reliable, secure digital connectivity in Palau.
The Palau spur cable will be the first project under the Trilateral Partnership for Infrastructure Investment in the Indo-Pacific between Australia, Japan and the United States. The spur cable will connect Palau to a new cable, which spans from Singapore to the west coast of the United States.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Marise Payne said the project highlights Australia’s friendship with Palau.
“As part of Australia's Pacific Step-Up, Australia recently opened its first embassy in Palau. This presence bolsters Australia's diplomatic network — already the largest in the region of any country. We are very pleased to work alongside Japan and the United States to support Palau’s vision to strengthen its global internet connectivity,” said Minister Payne.
Australia will contribute approximately US$10 million to the Palau cable project. This includes US$1.4 million for a marine survey and branching unit, and a loan of approximately US$9 million from the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility (AIFFP) to help finance the construction of the cable.
The project builds on Australia’s support to the Coral Sea Cable System, which consists of 4700 km of cable connecting Port Moresby, Honiara and Sydney. Secure and reliable internet connectivity in the region will open up opportunities to boost tourism, business and investment, and to provide better government services, including health and education.
The Palau project highlights Australia’s commitment to the Pacific; as a Pacific country and the region’s largest donor, Australia has a strong interest in supporting the region’s prosperity, stability and sustainability.
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