The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) on Wednesday 12th February 2020 hosted an Information Session on the Fibre Optic Cable for its members of the business community.
Some of the topics covered during the session included the history of telecommunication in the Solomon Islands, Information on the fibre optic cable project, the payments systems and the customers bank card data, simple standards to secure your system and customers bank card data, the Solomon Islands Governments Policies and examples of Cyber Crime.
A presentation was delivered by Mr Moses Tadokata, who is on a five-month assignment with SICCI as part of the Australian Volunteer Program to support SICCI members in identifying opportunities for their businesses with the arrival of the undersea cable.
“The undersea cable will bring high speed internet and lots of internet bandwidth terminated at the Solomon Cable Company facilities.
“The Solomon Cable Company will then sell the fast Internet bandwidth to Licensed Telecommunication and Internet service providers who will connect their networks into the cable facility. Ordinary Solomon Islanders and businesses who are customers of these service providers will then experience fast internet through the products and services provided by service providers,” Mr Tadokata informed businesses.
With the undersea cable expected to be fully operational in Solomon Islands this year, Mr Tadokata believes that Government, private sector and relevant stakeholders can work together to create a competitive, safe and profitable business environment.
“If businesses are to maximise the opportunities with the undersea cable, there is value in thinking through a national body responsible for governance of the sector, developing laws and policies and creating standards for ICT use in the country.
“This body could develop standards and therefore responsibilities around the collecting, storing and processing of data by sectors such as in finance, medical and so forth. I think this has started largely driven by parts of Government concerned for example about gaps in Cyber Security.
“However, these fundamentals need to be worked on now to promote business confidence in the country,” Mr Tadokata said.
SICCI, as the representative body of the private sector, will continue to advocate on behalf of its members for the best price possible for data and speed from the internet service providers in the country.
“The price on the data and voice plans from our service providers should reflect the funding that is invested on the project,” SICCI’s Advocacy Officer, Mr John Ta’amora, said.
“This might take some robust discussions but hopefully we can have the best price for the best speed possible within the Pacific region,” he added.
Solomon Islands currently have three internet service providers namely Solomon Telekom, Bmobile and SATSOL.
Mr Ta’amora explains that the Chamber will explore the possibility of working with responsible bodies including Ministry of Communication and Aviation about a structure for ICT governance that should include national standards and policies for everyone.
“The Chamber will also continue to run ICT workshops to help our members understand, this new revolution in technology and their responsibilities to operate in this space and show our members systems they will likely to use and the different plans that are available from our internet service providers,” he said.
“As stakeholders, let us all advocate for better services in the information, communication and telecommunication space for better governance, and a structure that will instil confidence and security towards a progressive ICT environment in the Solomon Islands,” the SICCI Advocacy Officer, added.