The Prime Ministers of Australia and the Solomon Islands affirm yesterday their commitment to deliver a high-speed undersea telecommunication cable between the two countries.

Australia will deliver and majority fund the project as part of a cable system that will connect both Honiara, Solomon Islands, and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, to Australia, with a financial co-contribution from both Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.  It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019.

The joint project will be a first for Solomon Islands, which is wholly reliant on satellite technology to access the internet.

In a joint statement, the two prime ministers said that, “Ensuring stability, security and prosperity in the Pacific is one of the highest priorities of our two nations. Boosting connectivity in Solomon Islands will improve governance and security, and drive economic growth.

Increased connectivity also exposes countries to risk. Through the Cyber Cooperation Program, Australia is working with Solomon Islands to manage these risks by strengthening its cyber security architecture and combating cybercrime.

Australia’s strong support is a reflection of its stepped up engagement in the Pacific and commitment to promoting economic cooperation and integration in the region.

It follows a long-standing commitment to peace and stability in the region, with Australia having led the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) over its 14 years of existence.  We will continue to work together to sustain the gains made under RAMSI and support long-term stability and growth in Solomon Islands, such as through our bilateral security treaty.

Together we can ensure these projects are transformational for Solomon Islands and foster a new phase in our strong bilateral relationship.”