American Samoa getting O3b too

Friday January 18, 2013 Written by Published in Technology

American Samoa has followed the Cooks lead and signed up for high-speed internet with fibre optic network company O3b Networks.

The American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA) and O3b signed agreements for O3b to provide future broadband connections for American Samoa starting this year.

O3b is launching a ‘Middle Earth Orbit’ constellation of satellites that deliver fibre speed and satellite reach for Pacific island nations which are usually relegated to slow internet connections because of distance from larger countries.

The construction of the pair of 4.5 metre antennas will take place over most of February.

Telecom Cook Islands signed up to O3b in June 2010 and has received the satellite equipment needed to launch the new internet service.

Because O3b satellites are situated in orbit at only 8062 km over the planet, they are four times closer than the geosynchronous satellites that have served American Samoa and Cook Islands in the past. This proximity is said by the company to dramatically reduce roundtrip delay for voice calls and web surfing.

O3b is due to go live in the Cooks in July or August this year, with the American Samoa service ready in the third quarter of the year. The Cook Islands will be the first country in the Pacific to use the global satellite service.

The network – whose investors include Google – has its headquarters in Jersey, Channel Islands.

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