Introducing Kacific – About to Bring Internet Connection to Remote Islands in the Pacific
Remote Islands in Papua New Guinea and around the Pacific Islands could soon benefit from access to consistent Internet connection thanks to Christian Patouraux, the founder and CEO of satellite startup Kacific. Jackie Wattles of CNN
Remote Islands in Papua New Guinea and around the Pacific Islands could soon benefit from access to consistent Internet connection thanks to Christian Patouraux, the founder and CEO of satellite startup Kacific.
Jackie Wattles of CNN Business writes that on Monday evening, renown American Aerospace manufacturer SpaceX launched Kacific’s first satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This, Patouraux says, could soon bring consistent internet connections to as many as 1 million people for the first time.
Kacific is a Singapore based company and its analysis reveals that the Asia-Pacific region is starved for internet access, and people are willing to pay for it.
Why Kacific might just be what we need
It was only recently that Telikom PNG announced the launching of Telikom TV, an Internet Protocol Television service. The service is limited to those with high speed broadband and therein created an obstacle for many who were interested in subscribing to it.
This obstacle is one of topography: Broadband is delivered primarily by copper or fiber optic cables. They’re expensive to install, so internet service providers mostly target urban areas, where they can get the most bang for their buck, while rural communities are often left out.
Kacific’s latest solution is aimed at connecting the “unconnected” via satellite and it believes that it can connect up to 80% of the population that live in rural areas.
What about quality
It is believed that Satellite-based internet is not typically cheap or of high quality. But Patouraux is undeterred.
It’s the best way to reach these remote communities
About Kacific’s satellite
- dubbed Kacific-1, high-throughput, a new breed of satellite that has much higher capacity than older satellites.
- To keep costs low, it’s built into a CondoSat, a type of two-in-one satellite that will allow Kacific-1 to share space with another payload. (In this case, it’s a TV service satellite for Japan-based Sky Perfect JCSAT.)
- The CondoSat will sit in geosynchronus orbit about 22,000 miles above Earth, where it’ll stay continuously positioned over the Asia-Pacific region.
- A few ground stations, called teleports, will bounce Kacific-1’s signal to antennas, creating internet hot spots.
- the antennas may be too expensive for most people to install at their homes, but perfect fit for schools, hospitals and community centers.
What Kacific has done so far in the Pacific
Kacific has connected
- 75 health clinics in the island nation of Timor-Leste
- five schools in Samoa.
- And when the sole fiber-optic cable connecting the Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga was severed, Kacific helped bring the nation’s capital back online.
While companies like SpaceX are continuing to develop and resolve satellite issues like latency, it is still not clear if they’ll be able to offer consumer broadband at price points that make sense for under-served communities where people don’t have much disposable income.
Despite this, Governments like in Papua New Guinea where development has picked up at an alarming rate should turn their focus on spending or at least subsidising these costs especially for schools and health centres where they have been neglected for so long. Given the rugged terrain and generally Papua New Guinea’s difficult landscape, a focus on satellite broadband like what Kacific offers, seems like a sensible thing to do.
The company has already signed deals with internet service providers to deliver internet to 24 countries: Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Myanmar, American Samoa, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cook Islands, East Timor, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Micronesia, Nepal, Niue, Northern Mariana, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and New Zealand.
Patouraux wants to continue scaling the network using more satellites in geosynchronus orbit. He doesn’t see it as a replacement for traditional internet service
But it will never be economical to connect an island where you have 200 people living, or a village of 500, that are [miles] away from the next provincial city
“We are the right technology to connect them.”
Original article – https://www.wcvb.com/article/spacex-launches-satellite-that-will-bring-internet-to-isolated-island-nations/30248697