Minister of Post and Telecommunications Chea Vandeth announced that the 2,715km submarine fiber-optic cable project from Hong Kong to Sihanoukville is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

Vandeth said technicians are working to accelerate the project.

“This network will increase our capacity to provide high-speed and more comprehensive internet throughout the country. Once this undersea link is completed, we will no longer have to worry about internet access. The price of data will likely reduce, too,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang agreed to accelerate the construction of a Cambodia-China “community of common destainy” in line with the fundamental interests of both peoples. The fiber optic cable project is in line with the goals of both leaders.

The data link will support Sihanoukville’s role as a special economic zone (SEZ) and will strengthen industry and supply chains.

Preah Sihanouk provincial deputy governor Long Dimanche said the province will merely serve as a gateway to connect the fibre optic network from Hong Kong to Cambodia as a whole.

“The connection will contribute to the national economic growth, although it also shows the economic potential of the geographical location of the province. It will help orient Preah Sihanouk as a model multi-purpose SEZ,” he added.

“Preah Sihanouk is moving towards becoming a financial center and an industrial hub. To that end, we need to employ modern technology. I believe that the cables potential to provide low-cost, high-speed internet will suit our purposes very well. It will also lend momentum to the Kingdom’s digital transformation,” he added.

According to the telecoms ministry, Cambodia has more than 17 million registered SIM cards, over 310,000 wired internet subscriptions, 38 internet service providers (ISP), five terrestrial and submarine fibre network operators, and 640km of submarine fibre-optic cables in service.

It added that the submarine fiber-optic cable project began in October 2022 and should be completed in 2024, with data expected to be cheaper and more widely available as a result.