SpaceX-Falcon

Kacific-1 will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9, a two-stage orbit-class rocket. Photo: Kacific

Kacific, a Vanuatu registered company that brands itself as a next-generation wholesale broadband satellite operator, is promising affordable and high speed internet for all islands of Vanuatu once its satellite, Kacific-1 is in orbit and fully operational in 2019.

But while the Kacific-1 is still under construction by Boeing Satellite Systems International in its Los Angeles manufacturing facility, Vanuatu is already benefitting from the internet services of Kacific, which not only registered in Vanuatu but has also opened an office here.

Vanuatu’s telemedicine network relies on internet that is provided directly by Kacific.

Christian Patouraux, Chief Executive Officer of Kacific Broadband Satellites confirmed that Kacific directly supplies the internet connection for the Vanuatu Inter-Island Telemedicine and Learning Network (VITAL), which connects village health workers and rural nurses working in isolation to specialists and resources in Vanuatu’s main centres.

Using Kacific’s internet connection, the VITAL network has saved lives on a number of occasions, especially on Maewo island where the network was spearheaded by Peace Corps volunteer, Alexis Cullen and the Maewo Telecommunication Committee.

Northern Provincial Hospital Surgeon, Dr Basil Leodoro, confirmed that Kacific’s service has helped saved lives.

Dr Leodoro said even when the network’s funds stopped for the payment of internet service provided by Kacific, the company allowed access free of charge before the Ministry of Health steps in to cover costs.

He said an example of the success of this vital service is that of a boy that received knife wounds and the nurse on Maewo reached the doctor on Santo within two minutes before a flight was arranged to medivac the patient within three hours, which saved his life.

Dr Leodoro said the internet service is also used for online virtual training of nurses on Maewo.

Kacific is currently providing internet from an older satellite to some Pacific Island countries, including Vanuatu, where schools, businesses and communities on remote islands are using the satellite internet service.

It says it does not own this older satellite but is leasing the spare capacity to provide an internet connection.

With news about Vanuatu launching its own satellite, Daily Post asked the company whether the Vanuatu Government has any stakes in the company, but CEO Patouraux said Kacific is 100 percent privately owned and does not require any capital investment from Vanuatu.

“The company is registered in Vanuatu and has an office in Vanuatu, as well as an office in Singapore.

“Kacific will be launching its first satellite in 2019.

“The satellite is named Kacific-1 and will provide a low cost, high-speed internet connection to telecommunication companies and internet service providers operating in South East Asia and the Pacific, including resellers in Vanuatu.

“The Kacific-1 satellite is a brand-new technology, which is why the cost is much lower than previous internet connections.

“To mark the commencement of construction, Boeing raised the Vanuatu flag in its Hall of Flags.

“Kacific invited Ambassador Odo Tevi to meet with the Chairman of Boeing to accept his congratulations on Vanuatu being the first Pacific Island nation to be represented at Boeing.

“As Kacifc-1 is paid for by a privately financed company, it does not require any capital investment from Vanuatu,” the Kacific CEO said.

Mr Patouraux said when the Kacific-1 satellite is in orbit and fully operational, in 2019, ni-Vanuatu will be able to enjoy affordable, high speed internet no matter where in the islands they live.

“That connectivity will enable significant improvements in education, healthcare, tourism, economic development, emergency response, disaster recovery, aid and access to government services. Universally accessible broadband will make possible new services and initiatives in both the public and private sector,” he said.

Patouraux said Kacific-1 is a newer, faster technology than current satellites in orbit.

The Kacific CEO said when Kacific-1 launches, people using the current satellite internet provided by Kacific will be transferred to use the faster connection from Kacific-1.

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