Google will be investing about $200 million into Fiji through the South Pacific Connect initiative or the Tabua Cable connection and by the year 2030, its annual economic output over 7 years would be around USD$295 million in total, and it has the potential to support almost 3,600 jobs.
This has been highlighted by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Communications Manoa Kamikamica in his ministerial statement in parliament where he says under this initiative, Google will establish and lay new subsea cables that will link the United States, Fiji, Australia, and French Polynesia.
He says Google will lay the Tabua Cable which will connect the United States, Australia and Fiji and a second subsea cable dubbed the “Honomoana cable” will be laid that will connect the United States to French Polynesia and onward to Australia.
The Deputy Prime Minister says Google will also construct a diverse cable landing station and ICT facility in Fiji, which will create the first Tier III data centre in the Pacific improving reliability, adding capacity and reducing latency for users in the Pacific and around the world.
He says this has the potential to turbo-charge, diversify, and strengthen the Fijian economy.
Kamikamica says the improved network infrastructure will support new and emerging technologies including frontier technology such as Artificial Intelligence, 5G, Internet of Things, and Quantum Computing and will have the potential to make the greatest progress in areas such as education, agriculture, communications, medicine, manufacturing and combating climate change.
He says this investment will greatly support Fiji’s BPO and outsource sector by not only offering greater network infrastructure, but by reducing the risks.
The Deputy Prime Minister says the BPO sector has the potential to provide 25,000 jobs and contribute greatly to Fiji’s GDP.
He further says Google is collaborating with key stakeholders, including FINTEL and the FNPF which will strengthen Fiji and FINTEL’s telecommunications hub status and provide the much needed reliable and resilient connectivity between the people of the Pacific and the rest of the world.
Kamikamica adds they also believe Fiji’s institutional investors such as FNPF, Fijian Holdings Limited and BSP Life may have an opportunity to invest in the Tabua Cable.
While responding to Kamikamica’s statement, FijiFirst MP, Viliame Naupoto says connectivity is good for development and modernisation but we should not forget the downside of it.
Naupoto says the Budapest Convention on cybercrime was brought to the parliament, dealt with in a parliamentary committee and the Attorney General was supposed to move a motion in parliament that Fiji ratify this convention.
He says they are still waiting for the motion to come to parliament so that Fiji can partner with those countries that are at the forefront of fighting cybercrime.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations