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Universal Communications Group (UCG) has achieved a major win by being awarded a tender to deliver critical telecommunications infrastructure to the Federated States of Micronesia in a project supported by the World Bank. UCG will design a Fibre to the Home network in the three main islands of Yap, Pohnpei and the Kosrae States of Micronesia, a project which UCG Group CEO Muralee Siva describes as a “game-changer” for the Pacific nation.

The Federated States of Micronesia is an archipelago of 607 islands covering 2.6 million sq km just north of the equator in the western Pacific Ocean. UCG is one of New Zealand and Australia’s leading suppliers of a range of broadband design and construction services, particularly for next generation broadband networks. The contract was tendered by Federated States of Micronesia Telecommunications Cable (FSMT Cable), supported by grant funding from the World Bank.

FSMT Cable is an open access wholesale only infrastructure provider and is a key part of the FSM Government’s strategy to unlock the digital potential of the nation. “This is a way of introducing new players into our market to make sure that there’s competition, that there are options for our citizens in the telecommunications field,” stated FSM President David Panuelo. “We’re confident that this is going to definitely benefit our citizens.” he added.

“Expanding access to world class telecommunications services will promote private sector investment in digital services and establish the critical foundations for digital government services and the digital economy for this country of 105,000 people,” Mr Siva said.

“Providing connectivity to households, businesses, schools and government will facilitate unconstrained access to the recent investments in undersea fibre connectivity between FSM and the wider world. This is a fantastic initiative for the people of FSM and we believe it is a very effective model for other, equally resource-challenged Pacific nations,” Mr Siva said.

“The recent COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted the need for improved telecommunications to support people working in isolation as well as supporting expanding economies throughout the region. Importantly, COVID-19 will be no barrier to the implementation of this project because our skilled management team have developed systems and processes that enable remote training for the FSM local team in the prerequisite skills required to deliver a successful deployment of the UCG designed FTTH (Fibre To The Home) networks. This skills transfer is a vital component of building local capability for the operation and future expansion of local networks,” Mr Siva said.

“The project underscores our UCG values of innovation, team-work and integrity which have been recognised in the awarding of this contract. We are extremely proud of the work of our Australian and New Zealand teams who have combined their expertise to deliver a great outcome for this small Pacific nation,” Mr Siva said.