After over 15 years of service, the Australia PNG-2 submarine cable has now been decommissioned by the state-owned PNG DataCo. The cable’s retirement was celebrated in a ceremony which saw Papua New Guinea’s Minister for State Owned Enterprises William Duma push the button that would switch the cable off.
The Australia PNG-2 cable, managed by a consortium made up of Telikom PNG, Telstra Australia and Telecom New Zealand, once provided a crucial link between Papua New Guinea and Australia. The cable has played a significant role in the country’s development since its commissioning in 2006, however, thanks to the development of new infrastructure in the region, the cable has been deemed surplus to requirements.
The Coral Sea Cable System, a 4,700km long fibre optic system linking Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands which was completed in December 2019, has now taken over as the primary connectivity link between the countries. The four fibre-pair system can deliver a total capacity of 40Tbps. The cable was majority funded by Australia with the governments of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands jointly contributing up to a third of the costs.
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