Alcatel-Lucent’s French vessel Ile de Ré arrives in Fiji - 29 May 2013

Alcatel-Lucent’s cable ship, Ile de Ré berthed at the Suva Port last Sunday in preparation for the roll-out of the 837km Tonga-Fiji submarine cable system.

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Captain Jean-Malo Brand-Gazeau meets Ambassador & Mrs. Montagnier during a visit to the ship.
(Photo: Vasemaca Tuisawau/French Embassy Suva)

The cable is intended to help increase Tonga’s broadband internet access and affordability, as well as to give them access to the Southern Cross Cable, the main trans-Pacific system that connects Fiji, Australia and New Zealand to the United States of America. Following extensive underwater studies of the area, the cables were manufactured in Alcatel-Lucent’s cable factory in Calais, in the North of France and transferred last week to Fiji via a freighter.

Based in Nouméa, the Ile de Ré is a 143 mt long cable ship capable of loading up to 6,000 km of cables and provided with state-of the art equipment for cable laying and maintenance. The cable ship is owned and operated by Alcatel-Lucent via ALDA Marine, its joint venture with Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA), who manages the ship. Among the crew, there are about 25 Frenchmen on-board. All the crew is composed of specialised and experienced people in the various areas needed to ensure that the project is completed successful.

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The Ile de Ré at the Port of Suva
(Photo: Vasemaca Tuisawau/French Embassy Suva)

French Ambassador to Tonga (based in Suva) H.E. Gilles Montagnier stated that: “After the recent delivery to Fiji of the new Airbus, this project is another manifestation of France’s high level of technological expertise. As the French Ambassador accredited to Tonga, I’m also happy that my country is able to contribute to a better regional integration through telecommunication improvement”.

Connection between Tonga and Fiji is part of the regional connectivity project which is aimed at connecting all Pacific Islands through fibre optic cable. The project is financed partially by World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and Tonga Communications Corporation (TCC)

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For further information please contact:

Vasemaca Tuisawau at the Embassy of France, Suva via vasemaca.tuisawau@diplomatie.gouv.fr or Tel: (679) 3310526 Fax: (679) 3223901

Published on 04/06/2013

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