Kacific Signs Cooperation Agreement Supporting ITU's Affordable Connectivity Program for 11 Pacific Countries

Kacific Broadband Satellites has signed a cooperation agreement with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the development of satellite communications capacity and emergency communications solutions for the Pacific region.

The project will establish 55 fully equipped e-centers to service communities in remote islands or rural areas in Kiribati, Micronesia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Tonga. The e-centres will all have satellite connectivity for development and emergency telecommunication. Details of the project, including timelines, budgets and partners, have been published on the website of the UN Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) under the heading, "Addressing Connectivity for the Sustainable Development of SIDS" (http://goo.gl/GB2t2p).

The project follows the recommendations of the 2010 "Tonga Declaration" on ICT and is part of the ITU's regional strategy to address the implementation of a low cost and resilient network configuration to minimize the disruptions caused by communications failures when disasters strike. It aims to develop affordable, reliable, diverse satellite communications capacity for the socio-economic development of the Pacific Islands region.

- Up to 11 island nations will benefit from the project, each with four or five sites
- Up to 55 rural/remote community e-centres will be established by 2017
- Services and applications will be enabled in the health, education and agricultural sectors

Kacific pledged to donate a total of 50Mbps of dedicated bandwidth for a full year to the 11 Pacific Island countries, complemented by 40 terminals. The total value of the donation is in excess of US$380,000. ITU, as the implementing UN agency, will carry out the project in cooperation with ITSO, Kacific and the other implementation partners. ITU is providing seed funding of US$500,000 and ITSO (International Telecommunication Satellite Organisation) is providing US$100,000 for capacity building.

Most of the island nations in the region are on their way to economic development and cannot afford their own fully packaged emergency communication platforms. Regional cooperation and collective strategies are needed to address emergency preparedness and develop disaster and emergency communication networks. There is also an urgent need to develop emergency communication systems, which could be transported and deployed throughout the region on short notice.

"The Pacific is in dire need of resilient connectivity," says Kacific CEO, Christian Patouraux." This project will provide a cost-effective, universally accessible national broadband service to multi-island nations where other technologies have struggled. Under this agreement, internet connectivity enabled by Kacific will become affordable, sustainable, reliable, low maintenance, solar powered and always-on."

"This project is a game-changer for affordable connectivity in the Pacific," says Patouraux. "It paves the way for Pacific island nations to target improvements to agriculture, healthcare, education and economic development enabled by ubiquitous low-cost internet bandwidth. It sets in motion a future where Pacific Island communities, even in remote and rural locations, will be able to enjoy the benefits of always-on internet connectivity at a cost comparable to the rest of the world."

About Kacific

Kacific Broadband Satellites Pte Ltd is a satellite operator developing a broadband offering for the underserved Pacific island market. It plans to address the gap in supply with a satellite specifically designed for this market and using the latest multi-beam and high throughput space communications technology transmitting over the Ka Band.

Kacific's target market comprises the islands of the Pacific, and the land masses of New Zealand, eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It plans to provide satellite coverage to the majority of the island nations in Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia including the Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Northern Mariana, Vanuatu, Marshall Islands, Palau, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Papua, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Guam.

Using cost-effective technology and a lean business model Kacific will provide better broadband quality throughout the Pacific at significantly less than current retail prices, fostering greater internet usage and fuelling economic growth and improvements in service delivery in the islands.

For further information about Kacific visit www.kacific.com.

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