US, Australia, Japan to fund undersea cable in Pacific to boost internet access

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The allies said on Sunday they would build the cable to provide faster internet to Nauru, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia.

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The United States, Australia and Japan have said they will collectively fund the construction of an undersea cable to ramp up internet access in three tiny Pacific nations, as the Western allies seek to counter the increasing influence of China in the region, reports AL-Jazeera .

The allies said on Sunday they would build the cable to provide faster internet to Nauru, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia.

“This will support increased economic growth, drive development opportunities, and help to improve living standards as the region recovers from the severe impacts of COVID-19,” a joint statement from Western allies said.

They however, did not specify how much the project will cost.

The announcement of the undersea cable is the latest financial commitment from the Western allies in the telecommunications sector of the Pacific region.

The US and its Indo-Pacific allies have raised concerns that cables build by the People’s Republic of China could compromise the security of the region. China has ruled out any intent to use commercial fibre-optic cables, which have far more data capacity than satellites, for spying.

Australia in 2017 shelled out around137 million Australian dollars ($98.2m) to develop better internet access for countries like Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

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