Timor-Leste Officially Starting Installation of fiber optic cables

Augusto Sarmento - International · Technology
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Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão accompanied by members of the government, Australian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Caitlin Wilson and Marc Genot, ASN Deputy Chairman, officially withdrew fiber optic cables at the inauguration of the first fibre optic cable installation in Bebonuk coastal area, Dili, Monday (24/06/2024). Photo Tatoli/Antonio Daciparu

DILI-The Timor-Leste government today officially launched the initial installation of fiber optic cables at the Cable Landing Station (CLS) in Bebonuk, Dili to facilitate the East Timor South submarine cable (TL-SSC) project between Dili, Darwin, and Port Hedland, Australia.

The CLS infrastructure on Arbiru Beach itself was built by RMS and DXN companies with $3.4 million in funding to prepare a decent infrastructure before installing fiber optic cables.

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In the launch, Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão reaffirmed that TLSSC is the life path that will bridge Timor-Leste with the global digital community and empower the youth of East Timor with access to knowledge, create new opportunities for business, and ensure that our citizens can connect with the world.

“Today, we celebrate the beginning of a new era of connectivity for Timor-Leste. Let us seize the opportunity it brings and work together to build a brighter and more connected future for our beloved nation,” Prime Minister Xanana said at CLS Bebonuk.

He thanked the Australian Government for its invaluable support and cooperation throughout the project, where the partnership has played an important role in establishing the South Timor-Leste Submarine Cable System as well as the support of Alcatel submarine networks, Vocus, and others.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Caitlin Wilson, praised the Timorese government for its outstanding leadership in the historic and strategic nation-building project that marked an important milestone in the progress of East Timor.

“We are all aware that underwater cables will physically connect us underwater through the ocean and with the Internet flowing through the telecommunications network this shows strong social and economic links,” he said.

Transport and Communications Minister Miguel Manetelu explained that the implementation process of the TLLSC project itself has been running for almost ten years, from 2014 until the final forming of an Option Agreement with VOCUS from Australia to a public contract with Alcatel.

“It’s been running for ten years and now the technical team will soon start the installation and we’ll make sure that by the end of this year, we’re going to run a live re-test if the cabling is out of order,” he said.

On the other hand, Marc Genot, vice president of ASN, explained that he had completed an underwater survey in 2022 to identify the best end routes and protection designs for cables, as well as design and manufacture cables and related equipment in France and the UK during 2023.

“After being tested and received in February 2024 by the Timor-Leste government delegation, the cable produced has been loaded onto the IAX ship and has sailed from France to Dili to begin cable installation. We aim to complete the underwater cable system installation and testing before this year’s end. By then, the system would be ready to operate and be used by the East Timorese community,” he said.

He acknowledged that there are still many challenges to overcome but that the ASN is ready to successfully deliver the South Timor-Leste Underground Cable and provide the necessary support during its operations.

The government has previously signed a contract with Alcatel Submarine Network (ASN), for a Timor-Leste South submarine cable (TL-SSC) project between Dili, Darwin, and Port Hedland, Australia worth $38.6 million. (News Sources : Tatoli)

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