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The Commission is mandated by the Telecommunications Act (2009) to regulate the telecommunications sector and as such, maintains its policy of assisting complainants to address complaints directly to their service provider, as the first step towards resolving individual problems. However, the Commission can be requested or may, of its own volition, carry out investigations into matters related to market, service providers, services, anti-competition or other such issues.

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(TCSI): The final splice – the last joint in the network – of the Solomon Islands Domestic Network was carried out today in Noro, completing the domestic network lay.

According to a joint press statement from the Solomon Islands Submarine Cable Company (SISCC) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT), the final splice connects Auki, Taro and Noro to Honiara.

The nation’s capital in turn has an international connection to Sydney (via the Coral Sea Cable System) that will provide reliable internet to these provincial capitals.

Taking only 3.5 weeks, the opening of the Noro Cable Landing Station was also celebrated yesterday with a ceremony attended by the Minister for Communication and Aviation, the Hon Peter Shanel, together with the Premier of Western Province, the Hon David Gina and the Australian High Commissioner, Roderick Brazier.

Speaking at the event, the Australian High Commissioner highlighted that this major infrastructure investment will be game-changing for the economic development of Solomon Islands, and transformative for communities living in provincial areas such as Noro.

The cable is designed to provide a level of internet capacity more than 6,000 times greater than current usage in Solomon Islands. This will significantly increase internet accessibility and augment the way Solomon Islanders work, learn, do business and access services.

According to the joint statement released by the SISCC and DFAT, the submarine cable system will significantly increase internet usage and augment the way Solomon Islanders work, learn, do business and access services.

“As one of the largest economic hubs outside of Honiara, Noro can benefit greatly from the improved internet connectivity the cable will bring.

“Improved connectivity has the ability to open up access to global e-commerce markets, especially for tourism, agriculture and fisheries. 

“It can enable greater efficiencies in the delivery of government services, port management and the local airport. 

For individuals, greater internet connectivity has the potential to allow better access to education opportunities, tele-medicine options and other civic services delivered Online,” the statement said.

Speaking at the event Minister Shanel said “This is a game changing project and the opportunities it brings for Western province are huge.”

Premier Gina said “This is an historical event as we all come together to celebrate the advancement of the telecommunications sector in Solomon Islands.”

Australian High Commissioner Brazier said “this infrastructure project will open up new economic opportunities for Solomon Islands and will be transformative for communities across Noro.”

Both the Coral Sea Cable System and Solomon Islands Domestic Network are majority grant financed by Australia, and are expected to be complete in December 2019, after a robust period of testing, with customers able to access services in early 2020. 

Meanwhile, Australian and Solomon Islander experts are working with local businesses and government to make sure they are ready to capitalise on the enhanced internet connectivity.