In 2014, Interchange completed the Interchange Cable Network 1 (ICN1) – a USD 32 million cable in collaboration with French telecommunications corporation Alcatel-Lucent to deploy Vanuatu’s first international submarine cable system. The cable connects Port Vila to Suva, Fiji, where it links Vanuatu to the high-capacity Southern Cross submarine cable between Sydney and the United States’ west coast.
The existing subsea cable is set to be upgraded from 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) circuits to 100 Gbps, which will deliver exponential amounts of data capability, improving internet services dramatically to businesses, Government departments and households.
Two more cables are planned to connect Vanuatu with the Solomon Islands (ICN2) and New Caledonia (ICN3), providing much-needed backup to ensure uninterrupted connection and making Vanuatu a safe location for data storage.
The ICN2 cable will extend the submarine cable network 1600 kilometres north to Honiara, which is connected to the Coral Sea cable (that runs between Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomons), and connect Vanuatu’s second most populated island, Espiritu Santo, on the way. The ICN2 project is expected to take 18 months to complete.