Landowners met last week and will meet again tonight to discuss whether they will accept the government’s offer to lease the land.
Ranulf Scarbrough, the chief executive of local company Avaroa Cable Ltd, said securing land agreements in Cook Islands was an important and ongoing activity that they were managing.
“Negotiations with landowners are ongoing and continue to be constructive,” he said.
He said the Manatua Cable project remained on track, with no anticipated delays.
They will be building two cable landing stations, one each on Rarotonga and Aitutaki. These will be separate but in close proximity to existing Bluesky facilities.
Taking land by warrant is not currently seen as either necessary or desirable, said Scarbrough.
The Manatua Cable project is highly complex, requiring coordination across four nations, multiple funders and extensive engineering activities.
The National Environment Service has approved the Manatua Cable’s Environmental Impact Assessment.
Avaroa Cable anticipates making wholesale connectivity services available to retailers of telecommunications services licenced under the new Telecommunications Policy and Act of Parliament. It would be up to retailers to distribute services to end consumers, Scarbrough said.
The advanced fibre optic cable, with its six branches for landings across Polynesia, and 32 “repeaters”, has completed rigorous factory manufacture and quality processes, and factory acceptance tests in a specialist facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA.
The Hong Kong registered 13,000 tonne freighter Thorco Liva has been contracted for the delivery to Samoa in preparation for the start of cable laying later this year.
The Avaroa Cable will have a 25-year life expectancy and is expected to be ready for service in May 2020.