Astranis Space Technologies, building the next generation of telecommunications satellites to bring the world online, and Pacific Dataport (PDI), a company created for Alaskans by Alaskans to bridge the state’s digital divide, have announced a signed agreement and commercial partnership to construct and launch the first-ever commercial Astranis satellite to dramatically increase bandwidth in Alaska and lower the price of internet access statewide.
Under the new agreement, Astranis will design, build, launch, and operate one of its proprietary high-throughput telecommunications microsatellites in geostationary orbit to accelerate the availability of cheaper, faster, and more reliable broadband internet service to the entire state of Alaska. The satellite will launch in 2020 and provide 7.5 Gbps of capacity to roughly triple the currently available satellite capacity in in Alaska while also bringing costs down by an average of three times less than current pricing for both residential and wholesale customers.
“We really couldn’t have asked for a better first customer and a better partner,” said John Gedmark, co-founder and CEO of Astranis. “Not just because of PDI’s vision and dedication to bridging Alaska’s digital divide, but also because this is a perfect opportunity to showcase our phased approach to bringing online the more than four billion people in the world without reliable internet access.”
“PDI was created specifically to address this connectivity problem in Alaska,” said Chuck Schumann, founder of Pacific Dataport. “Through our work together, we ultimately hope to provide 40 Gbps – 50 Gbps of dedicated bandwidth to bring the entire state of Alaska online with broadband internet— including many in the state who have no access at all. The new agreement with Astranis is the first step toward making that dream a reality much faster than we could with one of the traditional big satellite manufacturers.”