The laying of a 4,700km long high-speed internet cable connecting Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands has begun in Port Moresby.

Papua New Guinea Data welcomed the start of work on the Coral Sea Cable in Port Moresby.

The company's Eki Roroipe said the cable will first be connected to Honiara in Solomon Islands before being linked up to Sydney, Australia.

Mr Roroipe said it is hoped the cable will be completed by March next year.

"They will start from PNG and as we speak they are dropping and moving towards the branching unit. The branching unit is sort of like a manhole or a joint where they will stop there and then go to Solomon Islands they will do the same thing and then they will come to the branching unit and then move towards Sydney."

Mr Roroipe said the cable will deliver faster, cheaper and more reliable communications infrastructure, bringing significant economic and development opportunities for the Solomons and PNG.

He said the maximum internet speed in PNG at the moment is about 1Gigabit per second which will increase around 100 times the speed once the cable comes online.

The four fibre-pair international system will deliver a minimum of 20Tbps capacity to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands respectively, a total capacity of 40Tbps. This will significantly augment Papua New Guinea’s existing submarine cable capacity.

The Solomon Islands currently relies solely on satellite for international voice and data communications.

Australia has provided the majority funding for this cable, with PNG and Solomon Islands Governments jointly contributing up to one third of project costs.

Once complete, PNG and Solomon Islands will majority own the international cable and receive all revenue generated. Solomon Islands will also own its domestic cable and all revenue generated.

Source: RNZ