KOROR, PALAU (7 December 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) joined the Government of Palau to celebrate the arrival of the country’s first high speed broadband internet connection in a ceremony at the Palau National Museum today. President of Palau Tommy Remengesau led the official commissioning of the service.
“The arrival of high speed broadband is the latest milestone of the North Pacific Regional Connectivity Investment Project which will boost Palau’s international connectivity, linking the North Pacific to larger markets all over the world,” said James Lynch, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department. “The new submarine cable system will deliver affordable, accessible, and faster internet allowing for improved delivery of government, health, and education services.”
Two loans from ADB amounting to $25 million in total, approved in December 2015, supported the development of a fiber optic cable system linking Palau to the internet cable hub in Guam.
Before the project, Palau relied entirely on satellite links for internet connectivity, and the high cost and limited bandwidth from the service restricted Internet penetration in the country. It is expected that the new, live cable system will stimulate the uptake of internet in Palau. Supporting inclusive growth and investment in information and communications technology are key focus areas of ADB’s Pacific Approach, which guides ADB’s operational focus in the subregion.
Palau joined ADB in 2003, and has since received 6 loans totaling $69.8 million, a $200,000 grant, and 6 technical assistance projects worth $3.8 million from the bank.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.