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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Astranis & Orbits Corp are launching the first-ever internet satellite dedicated to the Philippines

Astranis announced that it is partnering with Orbits Corp to bring the Philippines their first-ever dedicated internet satellite. The satellite will provide sufficient bandwidth to connect up to two million people across 5,000 remote and rural communities in the Philippines.

“We are incredibly excited to give the Filipino people their own, dedicated satellite,” said Astranis CEO John Gedmark. “We expect this to be a critical piece of digital infrastructure that helps millions of people improve their lives, and we couldn’t have better partners to make it a reality than Orbits Corp and The Philippines Government.”

Orbits Corp is a satellite services provider and the sister company of a local Philippine ISP, HTechCorp, which has over 20 years of experience in providing internet services to the 7,000+ islands of the Philippines. Led by former legislator Atty Augusto Baculio, Orbits Corp's mission is to connect unconnected regions, providing them with the tools necessary to thrive in the Digital Age.

“Most of the internet penetration in the Philippines is confined to the metropolitan areas,” said Atty. Baculio. “Outside of that, going to the inner villages, over mountains, across islands — that’s when you have intermittent access to connectivity, or none at all. Getting these people connected is critically important, and that’s why we’re excited to partner with Astranis on this important project to bring a dedicated satellite to the Philippines.”

This Astranis satellite will be the first internet satellite ever dedicated to the Philippines, a nation that is uniquely challenging to cover with traditional connectivity solutions like fiber, microwave, and large satellite systems. Over 20 typhoons in the Philippines each year, and other natural disasters, challenge the Filipino people and prove the importance of resilient connectivity infrastructure.

Given its geographic challenges, just 11,000 of the country’s 42,000 local communities are covered by fiber today, and many of those left unconnected are what the Filipino Administration has identified as Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA). GIDA communities often do not have local hospitals and other public service institutions, and their people make, on average, less than $5,000 per year. Connecting these GIDA communities to reliable and affordable internet services is a major priority of the Government of the Philippines.

Secretary Ivan John Uy, the head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, said: “About half of the population of the Philippines is unbanked. Why? Because they are located in remote areas where it doesn’t make sense for a bank to open a branch. But if we provide them with connectivity, they can do digital banking, they can transact, make payments, and remit money without taking a three-hour boat ride or hiking for 30 kilometers. That’s the power of connectivity.”

This satellite dedicated to the Philippines is set to launch in 2024 alongside four additional Astranis satellites.

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