Intelsat Provides Emergency Connectivity to Tonga
Friday, January 21, 2022 | Comments

Intelsat in cooperation with Telstra and Spark deployed emergency communications services to support humanitarian aid to Tonga and the archipelago for Digicel Tonga and Tonga Communications Corporation.

The undersea volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai, which is 40 miles north of Nuku’alofa, Tonga’s capital, erupted on January 15. The volcanic explosion and subsequent tsunami knocked out undersea internet cables, disconnecting the region with a population of 100,000 as residents sought higher ground with the onslaught of rising water and dangerously high waves.

Intelsat is providing space-based broadband connectivity on Horizons 3e and Intelsat 18, while Telstra and Spark are providing the ground infrastructure, including very small aperture terminal (VSAT) hubs at their teleports, uplink, internet access and remote kits.

The services provided are now fully provisioned, expanding broadband and voice services. Additionally, Intelsat is providing services in conjunction with Optus to the New Zealand Defence Force, who will provide humanitarian support in Tonga.

“Communications infrastructure is essential to assisting the residents, coordinating medical staff and providing supplies, clean food and water and basic human needs,” said Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler. “Our hearts go out to the residents of Tonga and all impacted by this devastation, and we’re working with our partners to play a role in supporting the community in their time of need.”

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