Weno, Chuuk— A new fiber optic cable in Chuuk State is now fully operational, promising to increase the island state’s internet capacity.
The fiber optic cable in Chuuk is the latest infrastructure success from the FSM National government, FSM Telecommunications Cable Corp. and FSM Telecommunications Corp. with crucial technical and material assistance from Nippon Electric Co. and financial assistance through the World Bank.
FSM President Peter M. Christian urged all stakeholders to cooperate in order for Chuuk citizens to benefit from the fiber optic cable. “I want to remind [FSMTC and FSMT Cable Corp] that…you are not entities against each other,” Christian said during the fiber optic cable’s inauguration on May 7. “You serve the same community, the same citizens, the same customers. Look at the empty seats in this room—it probably resembles how much capacity we are not using with this new cable. What do we do with that? That is the challenge I leave with you.”
Christian also noted his appreciation for all parties who made the fiber optic cable a success, with particular thanks given to NEC; the president recommended NEC become one of the bidders for any future developments for the East Micronesia Cable System, which will connect the State of Kosrae.
Redley Killion, former FSM vice president, and chairman of the Board for FSMT Cable Corp, said the fiber optic cable in Chuuk “could be considered as one of the largest, if not the largest infrastructure project, not only for the State of Chuuk but for our nation as a whole.”
Chuuk Gov. Johnson Elimo echoed Killion’s remarks, noting that the fiber optic cable “marks an important chapter in the history of the people of Chuuk.”
Fredy Perman, chief executive officer of FSMTC, noted that customers in Chuuk had already been given increased bandwidth.
Some citizens may appreciate learning the distinction between FSMT Cable Corp, FSMTC, and the FSM Telecommunications Regulation Authority (TRA).
FSMT Cable Corp is the submarine cable company connecting Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae to promote broadband adoption in the FSM; they are a wholesaler and not-for-profit.
FSMT Cable Corp’s customers are the internet service providers, of which at the moment the only ISP available is FSMTC.
The Telecom Act of 2014 allows the FSM to liberalize the industry by allowing multiple ISPs to serve the public and compete in the market with the goal being cheaper and better internet, television, and phone service for all citizens in the FSM. The purpose of the TRA, then, is to regulate those ISPs.
Anna Mendiola, president of FSM Development Bank & board member of FSMT Cable; Pieter Bakker, CEO of FSMT Cable, and Chuuk Gov. Johnson Elimo prepare to cut the ribbon signifying the completion of the fiber optic cable in Chuuk