A group of three Indonesian telecoms operators have reportedly postponed until the end of this year plans to deploy a USD700 million fibre-optic telecoms cable in eastern Indonesia, citing financial obstacles as the reason. AsiaPulse writes the three – PT Telkom, PT Indosat and PT Bakrie Telecom – have jointly agreed to begin construction work on the Palapa Ring project in December 2009, rather than the original August start date. A spokesman for the minister for information and communication said the government understood the reasons for the rescheduling but hoped there would be no further delays. A decision by PT Excelcomindo, the country’s third largest cellular phone operator, to quit the project placed additional financial strain on the remaining consortium members. Once completed the Palapa Ring fibre-optic link will comprise 35,280km of submarine and 21,807km of terrestrial cable.