Kacific 1, ADB-funded satellite, now in space to connect remote areas to internet
The satellite that would bring high-speed internet to areas with no access to the Web in Asia Pacific, including the Philippines, is now in space.
It was funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Manila-based lending agency.
In a statement on Dec. 17, the ADB said Kacific 1 had been launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
It would orbit above the Asia-Pacific region during its 15-year service life, ADB said.
“The satellite will be able to deliver the most powerful signal ever achieved by a commercial satellite in the region,” said the ADB statement.
It would bring “affordable broadband access to people in remote regions, many of whom have never had internet connectivity before,” it added.
ADB said remote and rural communities “are typically beyond the reach of traditional fiber optics” because of the prohibitive costs of building infrastructure to connect these areas to the internet.
Kacific 1 “will cover these communities in Pacific island-nations and in archipelagic countries like Indonesia and the Philippines.”
The satellite could also provide internet connection to areas in South Asia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, ADB said.
The ADB dug into its pockets for $50 million for the satellite project through an agreement with Kacific Broadband Satellites International.
The Japanese government’s aid arm, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), is helping finance the satellite through the ADB-administered Leading Asia’s Private Sector Infrastructure Fund (Leap) program.
Satellite internet services “are very effective in reaching the last mile of internet access,” said Jackie B. Surtani, infrastructure finance division director for Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific of the ADB’s private sector operations department.
Surtani said these areas “remain isolated and lacking crucial services” and internet connectivity “can improve livelihoods and incomes.”
“Information and communications connectivity are powerful tools in fighting poverty,” Surtani said.
Edited by TSB
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