Solomon Islands - Infrastructure, power, and communications
The nation's numerous islands make its transportation infrastructure heavily dependent on maritime transport. Until the 1970s inter-island transport consisted mainly of canoes, mission ships, copra trading boats, and the occasional government boat. Regular passenger transport is now handled by government boats and increasingly by private companies.
The country is served by 1,360 kilometers (845 miles) of roads, but well over half of these are private plantation roads. Only about 34 kilometers (21 miles) of these roads are paved, mainly in Honiara. Most outlying islands have few or no roads, with a transportation infrastructure consisting of walking trails or outboard motor canoes.
Solomon Islands is served by 1 international airport, Henderson Field near Honiara, built by the U.S. military during World War II and since upgraded by aid from Japan and other sources. Another airport, at Munda in the Western Province, can also accommodate international (usually charter) flights. It was also built during World War II and has runways paved with coral. There are 31 other airports with unpaved runways throughout the islands, mostly for smaller aircraft operated by Solomon Airlines, but domestic airfares are high. During the ethnic conflicts in 2000, international and domestic flights were interrupted. By early 2001, Solomon Airlines was again flying to Brisbane and Nadi and operating most domestic flights, but other international airlines were still weighing the risks of resuming service.
Most households in Solomon Islands do not have access to electricity. In Honiara and in other provincial centers, power is generated by diesel generators operating on imported fuel. During the 1990s attempts were made to develop hydroelectric power for Honiara, but these plans were delayed due to problems related to land and compensation.
Telephone service is available only in Honiara and some towns. Domestic and international connections,
|Country||Telephones a||Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a||Radio Stations a||Radios a||TV Stations a||Televisions a||Internet Service Providers c||Internet Users c|
|Solomon Islands||8,000||658||AM 3; FM 0; shortwave 0||57,000||0||3,000||1||3,000|
|United States||194 M||69.209 M (1998)||AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18||575 M||1,500||219 M||7,800||148 M|
|Philippines||1.9 M||1.959 M (1998)||AM 366; FM 290; shortwave 3 (1999)||11.5 M||31||3.7 M||33||500,000|
|Micronesia||11,000 (2001)||N/A||AM 5; FM 1; shortwave 0||N/A||2||N/A||1||2,000|
|a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.|
|b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.|
|c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].|
including Internet access, are usually good. These connections are provided via satellite by Solomons Telekom, a joint venture between the government and Cable and Wireless, Limited, and which holds a monopoly on telephone services. In 1997, Solomon Islands had 3 radio but no television stations, although there are about 3,000 television sets in the country. The civil war in 2000 destroyed many telecommunications buildings and equipment. All expansion was temporarily postponed during the conflict.