Australia builds cable to Solomon Islands
- Australian will fund a high-speed internet cable to the Solomon Islands.
- Deal reportedly struck to sideline China.
- Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to meet with Solomon Islands representative Rick Houenipwela to sort the deal.
The Liberal Government have cut China's lunch, offering the Solomon Islands a high-speed underwater communications cable that will reportedly be cheaper and faster than a competing offer made from Chinese company Huawei.
The cable, set to be 4,000 kilometres in length and millions of dollars in cost, will run from the Australian mainland (possibly Townsville, Sydney or the Sunshine Coast), all the way to the Pacific nation of the Solomon Islands, who had originally struck the deal with the Bejing contracters but were consequently seduced away by Malcolm Turnbul's wily charms. Australia's persistence in the matter is said to be born of mistrust for China, with Australian intellegence spy agency ASIS concerned that China's involvment in communications so close to our shores could lead to a potential cybersecurity risk. It seems Australia has now convinced the Solomon Islands to take the same stance against the red nation. Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister for the Liberal Government would not specify further details of the security concerns Australia and the Solomon Islands were discussing, instead turning the focus to free enterprise, declaring "We believe the alternative we offered is cheaper, faster and more reliable than that offered by the competitor".
Though it is known that Malcolm Turbul and Solomon Island officials will be meeting to hash out the agreement in Canberra today, the Liberal Government have been a bit cagey about the precise cost that the cable will cost, with official budget papers eschewing the information for "commercial in confidence" purposes. While this has left tax-payers feeling a little sketchy on the proceedings, Bishop is adamant that it is the right thing to do.
"We are a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and I want to ensure that countries in the Pacific have alternatives, that they don't only have one option and no others, and so in this case we are in a position to be able to offer a more attractive deal for Solomon Islands and PNG, and they accepted it."
The Solomon Islands is currently running their internet comminications off satellite networks.
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