Singapore-based Kacific Broadband Satellite has signed a significant contract with the island nation of Tonga.
The deal covers satellite capacity with Tonga’s outlying islands, and reflects the nation’s need for secure back-up in the event of problems similar to a major fibre cable outage which lasted 12 days in January. The Tonga-Fiji cable, measuring some 827 kms failed, was repaired but failed again in February.
The company’s first satellite, Kacific-1, is a so-called condominium craft with Japan’s Jsat-18 scheduled for launch in Q3.
“This partnership with the Tongan government … showcases how building infrastructure in rural areas can help provide urban areas with back-up connectivity options in case of fibre malfunction or natural disaster,” Kacific CEO Christian Patouraux said. “Until now, rural areas were depending on urban centres to distribute their bandwidth to them. With Kacific’s solution for Tonga, urban centres need rural and remote areas in reciprocal cooperation to complete the urban infrastructure build-up.”
Minister for Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour Dr Tevita Tui’Uata said the satellite connectivity would enable residents to access e-government applications. The satellite will mainly be used for government infrastructure including hospitals, schools, police stations, post offices, and health clinics and dispensaries.