At the moment, the only option is a slow and expensive satellite communications.
Once the cable is in place, Vanuatu will see internet speeds 3,000 times faster than at present.
The cable will also put Vanuatu in a position to compete with Fiji to host international call centres.
Presenter: Jemima Garrett
Speaker: Simon Fletcher, CEO Interchange Cable Network
GARRETT: Vanuatu, like many other Pacific countries, has already seen the dramatic impact new communications technology can have.
The introduction of competition into the communications sector and the entry of Digicel into the mobile phone market massively increased the number of people with access to a phone services and it had a measurable impact on economic growth.
Simon Fletcher, CEO of the Port-Vila-based company Interchange Cable Network hopes his new fibre optic cable will have a similar impact on internet access.
He says there is huge potential to create jobs and attract investors to new businesses, such as call centres.
FLETCHER: We hope to see more investment in vanuatu in bricks and mortar telecommunications facilities. We also like to see a greater number of individuals employed in the sector.
GARRETT: And what sort of scale would call centres, or data centres be on, that would connect to this cable?
FLETCHER: Well, that would entirely depend on the individual companies that would invest in the area. We see ourselves as enablers of the telecommunications product, itself, the primary product being bandwidth. But, a call centre could see to thousands of individuals employed in that sector once its stimulated.
GARRETT: so this is really an extraordinary new capacity that you are putting into Vanuatu?
FLETCHER: Yes, this will be a quantum leap forward for vanuatu in terms of its technical ability to meet the needs of the ICT sector.
GARRETT: The new fibre optic cable will run across 1200 kilometres of seafloor between Port Vila and Suva, in Fiji.
There it will meet up with the main trans-Pacific cables, linking Australia and New Zealand with North America.
Simon Fletcher says the resulting faster, cheaper internet will open new opportunities for individuals, as well businesses in Vanuatu.
FLETCHER: Telecommunications enhancements in bandwidth supply could offer products such as remote monitoring and diagnosis of medical conditions, MRI scans for example. there could be a doctor in australia viewing a live MRI scan in Port vila, providing the technology is enabled to provide that. Also we may see in education, much more access to live education offerings in other jurisdictions, online degrees and lectures that require a far greater access to bandwidth than is currently being provided in Vanuatu.
GARRETT:Simon Fletcher CEO of Interchange Cable Network.
At the moment Vanuatu is dependent on not always reliable satellite connections to the outside world.
Mr Fletcher is hoping to reduce the risk of outages on the fibre optic cable by building a loop link which could bring in Solomon Islands or New Caledonia.
FLETCHER: Obviously, the first cable is the most important cable at this point in time but we see our growth opportunities in connecting to New Caledonia, via Lifou, or potentially connecting to the Solomon Islands, which has designs on connecting to the pipe cable network that runs down to Australia. So the second cable will provide a level of redundancy and give a great deal more comfort to those that are looking to invest in Vanuatu ICT, that we have alternate routing opportunities for those companies. In the case of the unlikely event that one of our cables was to fail, we have another opportunity or routing path for those businesses to use so there is not disruption to their services.
GARRETT: The $31 million first phase of the project will be built by French Communications equipment giant, Alcatel.
It is due to begin in August, once distribution contracts are finalised.
If all goes according to plan, fast internet should be available in Vanuatu in September, next year.