6 Mar 2012

Pitcairn Island to get improved internet access

2:01 pm on 6 March 2012

Pitcairn Island is to get improved internet access this year with an upgraded satellite link.

The scarcely populated island has had slow access to the internet for ten years via a shared satellite link with the United States Geological Survey which has a seismic station on the island.

"Bill Haigh, who is responsible for Pitcairn's telecommunications, says a team will head to the island in June to upgrade the link which will see broadband width doubled to just over 500 (512) kilobits per second."

He says Pitcairn Islanders have been avid users of social networking sites and increasingly rely on the web for business despite slow dial-up speeds.

They're able to sell their products online such as honey, carvings, collectable items that people around the world are interested in buying. Just the ability to reach out and find new markets has been an enormous boost to them.

Bill Haigh says there's the opportunity for improved distance learning for schoolchildren and telemedicine for expert healthcare.