On 29 October, to mark the first anniversary of the completion of laying the Coral Sea Cable, the Australian High Commissioner, Dr Lachlan Strahan, and the CEO of Solomon Submarine Cable (SSC), Mr Keir Preedy, handed over twenty-one certificates to the winners of the Coral Sea Cable ‘repeater dedication’ competition.
Submarine cable networks traditionally dedicate cable repeaters in honour of people who play an important role in the field of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT).
Last year, while the Coral Sea Cable was being constructed, the Australian High Commission and SSC sought nominations of people who have made an important contribution in ICT in Solomon Islands to name the repeater units on the cable.
The High Commission and SCC selected 21 Solomon Islander professionals who are working or have previously worked in ICT field to receive this honour.
Placed along the length of the Coral Sea Cable between Honiara and Sydney, the repeaters amplify the cable’s optical signals. The cable sits on the sea floor at a depth of up to 4865 metres. Staff on board the cable laying vessel, the IIe de Brehat, wrote the names of the winners on the repeaters before launching them into the ocean.
The 21 winning participants received a certificate, which stated the latitude, longitude and depth of their specific repeater unit, as well as the Google Earth location of the device.
At the handing over ceremony, Dr Strahan said, ‘The men and women recognised here today have made important contributions to Solomon Islands’ future. The development opportunities provided by the Coral Sea Cable will continue to grow as internet uptake increases across Solomon Islands’.
Mr Preedy said, ‘Solomon Submarine Cable is very pleased to be able to recognise these Solomon Islanders who have each played their part in the development of
telecommunication services across the country. We at SSC are very proud to be a Solomon Islands owned and operated business that connects us to the world’s internet
superhighways through the Coral Sea Cable and brings those benefits from Honiara to Choiseul, Western Province and Malaita through the Solomon Islands Domestic Network.’
The 4700 kms of cable laid through the Coral Sea – connecting Solomon Islands and Port
Moresby with Sydney and the world – has greatly increased the accessibility and quality of internet in Solomon Islands, transforming opportunities in all spheres of life from government and business to education and health.
The new cable has a capacity of up to 20 terabits, 20,000 times that of the previous system, and has improved the country’s capacity to provide faster, more reliable and more affordable telecommunication services.
The cable project has resulted in reduced internet costs at the wholesale and retail level across Solomon Islands.
Alice Alisae Aote’e – Alice is a co-founder of Women in IT Solomon Islands (WITSI) and currently serves as President. She also works as the ICT manager at Solomon Water.
Alywyn Danitofea – Alwyn is the Director for Communications at the Ministry of Communications and Aviation. He has served as the director since 2015.
Anna Grace Aitorea – Anna has worked in various IT roles throughout her career. She currently works at the
National Provident Fund providing systems analysis to NPF management.
Barbara Kiere – Barbara is the Sales Manager for Our Telekom and has been working in the industry for
the past 30 years.
Coldrine Kolae – Coldrine helped to implement the SIG’s Human Resource Management Information System, Aurion.
Colley Falasi Colley has worked as a data analyst for the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. He is currently working in Noumea as a Fisheries Data Analyst
under the Fisheries Program, with SPC.
Constance Nasi – Constance is the CEO of Solomon Islands Tertiary Education and Skills Authority (SITESA). She was previously an Undersecretary in MEHRD, and oversighted the development of the ICT Education Master Plan.
Davina Szetu – Davina is a co-founder of Women in IT Solomon Islands (WITSI). She also works in SIG’s
ICT Support Unit managing the help-desk support.
Haggai Arumae – Haggai has been the acting Telecommunications Commissioner since March 2020He has been working with the Solomon Islands Telecommunications Commission
since its inception in 2010.
John Riare – John is Acting Information Services Division Manager at the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), and played a key role in the development of the Education ICT Master Plan.
John Wanofafia – John is a co-founder of the IT Society of Solomon Islands. He owns his own ICT company, SoloSoft that provides IT services to local Solomon Islanders.
Late William Bennett (Billy) – William was a morse code operator in WWII. He then pursued a career in the Department of Post and Telegraphs of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate, and was appointed Chairman of SIBC in 1970.
Letitia Masaea – Letitia is a co-founder of Women in IT Solomon Islands (WITSI). She assists with promoting cyber awareness and ICT in schools and annual events.
Loyley Ngira Loyley was the first Solomon Islander CEO of Our Telekom. He also worked as a Chief Engineer at SIBC.
Lynnold Wini Lynnold is a co-founder of the IT Society of Solomon Islands.
Marlon Houkawara Marlon is a co-founder of the IT Society of Solomon Islands and is currently the Chairman. He has 20 years’ experience working in the ICT field.
Samson Wa’ahero – Samson is a Deputy Director of SIG’s ICT Support Unit.
Smith Iniakwala – Smith has served as Director of SIG’s ICT Support Unit since 2012.
Steve Erehiru – Steve is a Deputy Director of SIG’s ICT-Support Unit. He has specialised skills in managing Citrix software used by SIG.
Suzanne Orudiana – Suzanne is a co-founder of the IT Society of Solomon Islands and Women in IT Solomon
Timothy Kale – Timothy was the first Solomon Islander to graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy in ICT.
He now works at SINU as Head of School, Computer Science.