(MENAFN Press) ST. JOHN, Channel Islands & PAGO PAGO, American Samoa - Friday, January 18th 2013 [ME NewsWire]
(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA) and O3b Networkshave signed agreements for O3b Networks to provide up to 1.2Gbps of future broadband connectivity for Internet and other services for American Samoa starting in 2013.
O3b Networks is launching a Middle Earth Orbit constellation of satellites that deliver fiber speed and satellite reach for Pacific Island nations. Because O3b satellites are situated in orbit at only 8062 km over the planet, they are 4 times closer than the geosynchronous satellites that have served American Samoa in the past. This proximity dramatically reduces roundtrip delay for voice calls and web surfing. The O3b constellation will be ready for service in the third quarter of this year.
Today, the territory is served by a single submarine fiber optic cable. The performance of the O3b satellite link will be protected by a state of the art, dual 7.3 meter antenna array at the ASTCA Ili'ili Teleport. The increase in capacity will enable ASTCA and other service providers to offer more broadband based services to the residents of American Samoa.
Aleki Sene, Sr., Executive Director of ASTCA said, "This deal marks a significant improvement in broadband accessibility in American Samoa. The O3b service diversifies our route with plenty of low latency capacity. ASTCA will continue to serve customers via our submarine fiber optic commitments on the ASH cable; however, on the first day the O3b constellation is operational, ASTCA will double the broadband capacity available to territory residents. The new capacity will improve network speeds, network reliability, and will provide redundancy, should the submarine fiber optic system fail."
One of the reasons for the lack of broadband penetration in American Samoa, which was surveyed to be at 4.5% Internet penetration, has been the expensive nature of the backhaul. Both traditional satellite and submarine fiber optic solutions have been priced well outside of affordable for the local economy. The agreement between ASTCA and O3b changes the broadband landscape significantly by bringing fiber optic capacities at prices and terms that are affordable and economically feasible for the islands' service providers. ASTCA may extend the benefits of 03b capacity to serve all of Samoa.
John Finney, Chief Commercial Officer for O3b Networks stated, "We are thrilled to be a part of ASTCA's plan to provide affordable, state-of-the-art broadband capacity to all citizens, visitors and businesses in American Samoa. O3b expects 2013 will mark the beginning of a long and prosperous partnership with ASTCA."