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U.S., Australia and Japan to Fund Undersea Cable in the Pacific

“This will support increased economic growth, drive development opportunities, and help to improve living standards as the region recovers from the severe impacts of COVID-19,” according to a joint statement from the United States, Japan, and Australia.

December 18, 2021

Subsea Cable
Representative image: Undersea Cable

With the bid to boost internet accessibility in three Pacific countries, the USA, Australia and Japan will jointly fund the construction of an undersea cable. This is a response to counter the rising Chinese influence in the region. The three Western countries have come together to develop the subsea cable to bring faster internet connectivity to the countries including – Nauru, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia.

“This will support increased economic growth, drive development opportunities, and help to improve living standards as the region recovers from the severe impacts of COVID-19,” a joint statement from the United States, Japan, and Australia said.

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The development of the undersea cable is the latest funding commitment from the Western allies in the telecommunications sector of the Pacific. The financials of the subsea cable project has not been divulged as of yet.

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The United States and its Indo-Pacific allies are concerned that cables laid by the People’s Republic of China could compromise regional security. In 2017, Australia had invested about AUD 137 million (USD 98.2 million) to develop better internet access for the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.