Japan, US, and Australia plan undersea cable to support Pacific island nations

In order to enhance internet access in Pacific island states and offset the growing influence of China in the region, Japan, the United States, and Australia intend to build an undersea cable together to support Pacific island states.

Map of submarine cables

Japan, the United States, and Australia have joined forces in a strategic move to counter China’s expanding influence in the Indo-Pacific region by signing an agreement to create an undersea cable project that will enhance networks and internet access in Pacific island nations. With a combined investment of approximately $95 million, the project involves laying a subsea fibre-optic cable spanning around 2,250 kilometres to connect Micronesia, Nauru, and Kiribati. This announcement comes shortly after the Quad (a security alliance of Japan, the United States, Australia, and India) leaders emphasized the crucial role of undersea cables as a vital component of communication infrastructure and the foundation for reliable internet connectivity.

What is the significance of the undersea cable project for the Pacific island nations?

  • The project will enable faster and more reliable internet connectivity for over 100,000 people residing in the Pacific island nations, improving internet access, communication and information sharing among them.
  • The undersea cable will connect the state of Kosrae in the Federated State of Micronesia, Tarawa in Kiribati, and Nauru to the existing cable landing point located in Pohnpei in Micronesia, which will improve the connectivity of these island nations to the rest of the world and provide new opportunities for economic growth.