THE advent of the submarine cable and high speed internet should be a life changing event for the people of Vanuatu, says the cable operator.Interchange CEO Simon Fletcher said the reliable, high speed internet that will come with the submarine cable, hopefully before the end of 2013, will cost less than the satellite internet available now.
Interchange will construct, own and operate the 1250km cable from Fiji to Vanuatu.
“I will have abundant capacity and it will open the door to e-commerce, e-health, e-education and e-government, just to name a few,’’ said Mr Fletcher.
“Providing the operators get it right, then will be nothing that a person in Vanuatu can’t do on the Internet that isn’t been done in Sydney or New York now."
Interchange board member and internationally renowned submarine cable expert John Hibbard said it will be an exciting time Vanuatu and he gave examples of some of the applications of the vastly superior internet that is coming.
“People, even on outer islands, who can access the internet will be able to complete entire university degrees from reputable colleges over the internet, basically without leaving their home or village,’’ he said.
Diabetes is a modern day scourge of the Pacific and Vanuatu has many victims, but once the new internet is in place, Mr Hibbard said sufferers will be able to attach equipment to their bodies in Vanuatu and the results can evaluated by a doctor in say, Brisbane via the internet.
“Diabetics can have their blood sugar levels monitored the same way and think of the saving in costs by not having to travel to Australia or New Zealand for diagnosis or treatment,’’ he said.
"And there will be a lot of medical applications that can be done over the internet as they are already in other countries.
“Likewise, instead of businesses spending large amounts on air fares and accommodation by sending staff overseas for conferences, they will be able to hold all day teleconferences over the internet.’’
Mr Fletcher said once the high speed internet comes on line in Vanuatu there will be a range of foreign businesses and data centres set up in the country.
“We are already getting inquiries from companies which will find this an attractive place to set up their centres, once the internet is the equivalent of everywhere else,’’ he said.
“It will also be a major boon for the government and for tourism and it should be a very exciting time here.’’
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