Deal to bring high speed internet to Tuvalu
Tuvalu signs on for deal that promises high speed internet to reach all islands.
The Tuvalu Telecommunications Corporation has signed a deal that aims to bring high speed internet to all of Tuvalu.
The multimillion dollar, five year deal with Singapore company, Kacific Broadband satellites, is expected to go online in early 2017, and promises to bring cheaper and faster broadband to the entire country.
Leilani Momoisea reports:
Kacific, which is currently still in a funding and partnership phase, says the satellite broadband will cover most of Tuvalu's exclusive economic zone.
The general manager for the Tuvalu Telecommunications Corporation, Simeti Lopati, says the key is to make sure everyone on Tuvalu has access to the internet.
At the moment, the schools and the medical clinics on the outer islands, they don't have internet connection speed. Although the departments, they are quite advanced at looking at e-learning, but then the major bottleneck is to get the internet to the schools and the clinics.
He says this will help government towards achieving some of its goals.
Governments since independence they have been trying to invest a lot on education, on health, and I believe that having internet available on the outer-islands, that surely will help those efforts.
Kacific's chief executive, Christian Patouraux, says the satellite broadband will be a game-changer for Tuvalu.
We're talking about a level of internet speed that is ten times higher than what they get today. It will affect every level of Tuvalu citizens everyday life, whether education, health, security, government service delivery, it's definitely going to be a substantial change in terms of connectivity among the Tuvaluans but also with their communication with the rest of the world.
He says the Kacific system will beam in direct to the home.
With a very small and affordable terminal that can be mounted like any of those direct to home television antenna, on every roof, every community centre, every hospital and school. And that is a big difference compared to a lot of other systems that need to land in the island and then be further distributed.
Mr Patouraux says the technology has been specifically designed to serve small nations and still make a profit.
He says because Tuvalu has committed early, the company can focus a lot of attention on customising it's services to ensure Tuvalu gets exactly what it needs.
The broadband satellite is expected to go online in early 2017.
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