Aitutaki opens new optic fibre cable landing stationJuly 21, 2022
Aitutaki, an outlying island in the Cook Islands group and already connected by optic fibre1 , on 11 July celebrated the opening of its landing station. This is a second landing point for the fibre optic cable in the Cook islands group after Rarotonga, whose landing station was earlier officially opened in May .
Efforts such as extending optic fibre connectivity to outer islands. must be recognised and supported, in order to fairly harness the potential of such technology across the urban to rural sectors.
We congratulate Avaroa Cable and the many principle organisations and sponsors behind this initiative, making it possible for small islands collective cooperation for their common needs.
Optic fibre submarine cable has been the prime target platform for many global/regional initiatives and development goals but are extremely expensive for any small island states, who continue to rely on satellites and the new revolutions that these space technologies can provide. External funding and grants, however, can be catalytic in changing such situations for the small islands. It must also be holistic to the overall needs and gaps between urban and rural sectors
While optic fibre submarine cables certainly bring in new digital opportunities, it can lack addressing the more needed digital gaps if such cable land only in the main capital area. It can also be a killer to local infrastructure development, if not funded as it will tie up funding with the very high cost of optic fibre.
Hybrid options with space communications connectivity must also be considered for immediate term gains, to bridge the digital gaps and extend such new opportunities to other rural areas, and also providing along the way, diversity and disaster readiness for critical connectivity.
1 The news article is on launching of the Cable Station. Aitutaki was earlier connected in September 2020. Since then Vodafone Cook Islands had leased 1G capacity connecting Aitutaki and Rarotonga