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Hawaiki fiber optic cable launching set for Thursday, July 19

With the “ASTCA/Hawaiki” banner in the background, members of the Malaeloa Methodist Youth group perform

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —  With the “ASTCA/Hawaiki” banner in the background, members of the Malaeloa Methodist Youth group performed, during the April 21 ceremony marking the official landing in American Samoa of the Hawaiki undersea fiber optic cable, which is now officially set for launching tomorrow, July 19.

The American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority (ASTCA) owns the American Samoa branching unit of Hawaiki cable system, connecting the territory to Australia, New Zealand, Hawai’i and the US mainland.

Since the landing of the cable at Fogagogo in April, both ASTCA and Hawaiki have been testing the system over the past weeks. Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP owns the cable system.

At last Thursday’s cabinet meeting ASTCA acting chief executive officer Falaovaoto Sualevai announced the Hawaiki launching set for July 19, tomorrow, at the American Samoa Community College Multi-Purpose Center.

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga called on ASTCA to ensure that the Fono and the Judicial branch are included in invitations for ASG, saying that Hawaiki is “a critical project.”

Sualevai has also sent out invitations to the private sector, saying in a letter that accompanied the invitation, the Hawaiki cable “brings to life ASTCA’s commitment to improving American Samoa’s international connectivity.”

“Along with the Governor, it is my true pleasure to invite you to be part of this major milestone development of communication services for American Samoa users which include residential, corporate, public sector, and especially health education and research for the territory,” Sualevai wrote in a letter.

“We are excited to commercially launch with high speed, reliable and affordable international capacity to Hawaii and the US mainland that the Polynesian island region can connect to for the next 25 years,” she said.

The formal launching ceremony runs from 9a.m. to 11:30a.m.

Hawaiki, which brings to American Samoa up to 200 gigabytes, already has plans to have branching units to connect New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga.

During the cable landing ceremony, the governor announced that this project’s planned cost is close to $30 million and he thanked the ASG Employees Retirement Fund Board of Trustees for their support in this project.