$74m for high quality internet
5 April, 2018, 12:00 am
THE Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) board of directors has approved a total of $US36.6 million ($F74m) in grants to help fund the delivery of low-cost, high quality internet service in Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM); Tarawa and Kiritimati Island in Kiribati; and Nauru, which will benefit around 75,000 people.
The assistance, comprised of a $US21.6m ($F44m) grant to Kiribati and a $US15m ($F30m) grant to Nauru, is part of the Improving Internet Connectivity for Micronesia Project supported by ADB.
The project will help install a submarine cable connection between Kiritimati Island to a proposed transpacific cable system connecting Australia and Hawaii, while financing Nauru’s share of the East Micronesia Cable (EMC) System.
The EMC system will be cofinanced by the World Bank and ADB.
“The project will complement the ongoing and existing cable systems connecting all the major islands in the North Pacific region,” said Emma Veve, director in ADB’s Pacific Department.
“The cable project will connect the Micronesian subregion to the rest of the world and provide the potential for faster, more affordable internet.”
In all three participating countries, internet service is relatively weak, although the demand for cellular phones-the primary form of internet connection-is strong and growing.