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  • Satellite Evolution

Speedcast restores critical communications in Tonga

Speedcast, a leading communications and IT services provider, has announced that it is the first connectivity provider to restore services for the remote pacific island of Tonga via the country’s major communications company following the January 15 volcanic eruption disaster. Speedcast is establishing critical satellite connectivity delivering high-capacity bandwidth to support the island’s restoration efforts.

In the wake of the volcanic eruption, the Tongan mainland of Tongatapu lost connectivity when the international fiber cable to Fiji and the domestic cables were damaged in the blast. The island’s capital city of Nuku'alofa, along with the outer islands, were left without communications for their 100,000 citizens.

Speedcast’s rapid response, which was supported by local in-region teams, coupled with disaster recovery and remote engineering expertise, enabled quick restoration of service within just days of the disaster, including connectivity for the island’s major banking services.

“In the aftermath of a natural disaster or life-threatening emergency, quick-deploy connectivity solutions are critical. Speedcast has a long track-record of providing immediate, first-response support to enable successful recovery efforts – which oftentimes last for weeks thereafter,” said James Trevelyan, Senior Vice President of Enterprise and Emerging Markets at Speedcast.

“This is the lifeblood of why we do what we do at Speedcast – to provide communications in harsh or remote locations, regardless of the severity of disaster or environmental challenges at hand,” Trevelyan continued. “After several days without the means to communicate, Speedcast was able to open up these lifelines for Tongans to contact their loved ones to ensure they were safe. We’re happy to have made that possible.”

Speedcast has provided satellite connectivity solutions to Tonga since 2008 and delivered similar response efforts in 2019 following fiber connectivity issues caused by a severed fiber-optic cable, illustrating the company’s commitment in the Pacific. Last year, the company was the first service provider to respond to major outages in the southwestern Pacific island of Papua New Guinea. Speedcast immediately deployed field engineers to the area with new equipment, who worked tirelessly to expedite the restoration of network functionality.

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