Official Launch of ASTCA/HAWAIKI Cable
Thursday - July 19, 2018
American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA) and Hawaiki Cable Company Ltd. officially launched the High capacity service on the Hawaiki Cable system to the United States. The ceremony at the American Samoa Community College Multi Purpose Center was attended by government leaders, members of the business community, educators, the military and ASTCA customers.
The ceremony began with an invocation by Father Kelemete Pua’auli which preceeded welcoming remarks by the Master of Ceremonies Fagafaga D. Langkilde. Next to speak on behalf of the ASTCA Board was board member Taiulagi Asuega who thanked all of the parties that collaborated on the project and then detailed some of the benefits that increased and faster internet speeds will bring to the Territory.
In his special remarks, Governor Lolo Moliga paid tribute to those who had the vision of bringing this new undersea fiber cable to American Samoa as well as those who made it a reality. He thanked the former ASTCA Board, the Retirement Fund Board for financing the Hawaiki Cable, the Legislature and the present ASTCA board, management and employees of ASTCA, as well as CEO of the Hawaiki Company, Mr. Remi Gallasso. Governor Lolo also thanked the public for their patience.
Governor Lolo Moliga said: “Our connection to the Hawaiki cable has profound social and economic implications. It is a game changer for the digital landscape in American Samoa. The development of e-health and e-learning opportunities are now actionable items, which will overwhelmingly supply educational options and substantially improve the quality of healthcare services delivered to the people of American Samoa as we now have the required capacity to deliver true broadband access to all members of our community. We are already
receiving and reviewing proposals from companies locally and from off-island for the establishment of business activities dependent on reliable, affordable and high-speed Internet connectivity. We are also in a perfect position to propose state-of-the-art connectivity, including a direct link to the US West coast, to our neighboring countries throughout the Pacific Islands region.”
Acting CEO of ASTCA Falaovaoto Sualevai, listed the services that will be possible due to Hawaiki. According to Sualevai the increased bandwidth from the new cable allows the full utilization of the BLAST infrastructure, with additional capacity available to sell to other islands. To that end, ASTCA has reached out to French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa. And it has received requests for capacity pricing from Samoa, an indication of the commercial potential of the cable. The gathering then viewed a video teleconference with persons sending greetings from Hawaii, Las Vegas, California and Manu’a, as well as the CEO of Hawaiki company, Mr. Remi Gallaso from Switzerland.
Hawaiki Chief Executive Officer, Remi Galasso said: “Today, Hawaiki and ASTCA commence commercial operations for Hawaiki submarine cable system and its branch to American Samoa. Our partnership will significantly enhance American Samoa’s connectivity to the rest of the world and open the door for unprecedented levels of economic, social and research collaboration across the Pacific. We are grateful to ASTCA and to the Governor of American Samoa, and would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the memory of Pulelei’ite Li’amatua Tufele Jr., whose vision and persistence were instrumental to the success of the Hawaiki cable project in American Samoa.”
Entertainment by a group of ASTCA employees followed the launching of the cable after which there was a tour of the Iliili landing station, lunch and a trade show.