CEC Directs TC&I, Foreign Affairs, and FSM Telecom to Find Funding for Fiber Optic Cable
Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): January 16, 2008 - President Emanuel Mori and the Governors of the Chief Executive Council today received a briefing from Acting Director of the Department of Transportation, Communication, and Infrastructure, Mr. Weiner Hadley and the Chief Operating Officer of FSM Telecommunications Corporation, John Sohl on the status of the Submarine Fiber Optic Cable project for the FSM. They were told that funding has been secured for phase one of the project which would connect Pohnpei to the cable at a cost of $12 to $15 million.
Mr. Sohl said that the latest cost estimates for connecting the remaining States, what they have called phase two of the project were approximately $16 million for Kosrae, $21 million for Chuuk, and $43 million for Yap.
FSM Telecom expects to sign a contract for connection to the Fiber Optic Cable system some time in March or April of this year. They said that the actual work will begin in May and that Pohnpei would be connected by the first quarter of 2009.
The principals of the CEC said that during the last meeting in Chuuk in September, TC&I and Telecom had been directed to locate funding sources for phase 2 of the project. No funding sources have yet been found.
Mr. James Naich, Charge d'Affaires of the FSM Embassy in Washington D.C. said that he had participated in high level talks and that his office had identified several potential funders for the project.
President Mori and the rest of the Chief Executives Council directed the Department of TC&I to coordinate their efforts with the Department of Foreign Affairs and to step up their efforts to find funding for the vital program.
President Mori has continuously stated that Broadband Connectivity is one of his administration's priorities.
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