State telecommunications operator PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) has set aside Rp1.7 trillion in funds to build fiber optic submarine cable which will connect the two eastern Indonesian provinces of Maluku and Papua.
“The submarine cable is expected to start operating in 2015 so it can increase broadband services in the eastern part of Indonesia and improve the competitive edge of the region,” Telkom President Director Arief Yahya said here.
Arief said the Maluku-Papua fiber optic submarine cable project called Maluku Cable System (MSC) is divided into two packages of jobs.
The first package which covers the construction of a 1,300 kilometer-long submarine cable connecting Sulawesi, Maluku, North Maluku, Sorong and Fakfak will be done by Alcatel Submarine Network (ASN) at a cost of Rp1 trillion, he said.
He said the second package which covers the construction of 2,200 kilometer-long cable network connecting cities in Papua and West Papua provinces will be carried out by NEC at a cost of Rp700 billion.
The MCS is part of a 10,812 kilometer-long fiber optic cable that will connect Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Papua. It will also be part of the larger Palapa Ring fiber optic project, aimed at connecting all the country’s 33 provinces and over 450 districts and municipalities.
Earlier, in 2011, PT Telkom also built a 1,041 kilometer-long fiber optic cable connecting Mataram, capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, and Kupang, capital of East Nusa Tenggara province.
The construction of Mataram-Kupang cable system is a milestone in the development of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure for the country’s eastern regions.