Posted inStory / Solomon Islands

Survey on the impact of Coral Sea Cable Project conducted in the Solomon Islands

The SICCI survey intends to improve the cost and quality of digital services and the economic and social impact for individuals in rural areas since the launch of Coral Sea Cable.

A recent survey conducted by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) has revealed mixed reactions from businesses regarding the impacts of the Coral Sea Cable since its launch in February 2020.

More than half of the respondents (55%) have noticed an improvement in the cost and quality (speed/reliability) of digital services since the launch of Coral Sea Cable in February 2020 while forty-five percent (45%) has not seen any improvement.

The key results from the survey are been documented in a report which will be circulated to SICCI members. 

These survey results will assist SICCI to continue its advocacy efforts to make sure that an enabling environment exists for businesses to grow that will impact the livelihoods of Solomon Islanders.

The survey was conducted online with members of SICCI located in Honiara, other provinces and overseas, between 26th May and 4th June 2021. 

The survey was distributed by email through the SICCI network and a total of 83 responses were received from members.

The survey intends to get results from the private sector regarding the following:

• Improvement in cost and quality of digital services since launch of Coral Sea Cable in February 2020,

• Improvements to access to online services such as government services and information

• Difference in the internet uptake since roll out; and

• Participants’ recommendation to improve economic and social impact for people in rural areas.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of respondents are based in Honiara, twenty-four (24) are provincial based businesses while two percent (2%) are situated overseas.

Majority of the respondents are Small Mediums sized business with 10-49 employees, small businesses with 1-9 employees and large businesses with more than 100 employees. 

Majority of the respondents from the Tourism sector and wholesale & retail sector.

Forty-two percent (42%) of respondents agree that the Coral Sea Cable Project enabled changes or improvements to access online government services including health and education and/or access to information such as national news outlets or information on social issues (such as on domestic violence). However, twenty-eight percent (28%) disagreed while thirty percent (30%) neither agree nor disagree.

Thirty-eight (38%) of respondents who are customers in Honiara say they have observed differences in the internet uptake or usage since the Coral Sea Cable began operating, thirteen (13%) from customers provincial and rural areas and thirteen percent (13%) male & female customers.

From the Chamber’s perspective, the potential of the Coral Sea Cable project once fully realised will drive economic development for the Solomon Islands.

Faster, affordable and reliable internet services in the Solomon Islands among others is a pre-condition to creating an enabling environment for business and investment and will have a positive cross-cutting flow-on effect.

This story was published at the Solomon Star on 28 June 2021, reposted via PACNEWS.

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