The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $50-million agreement with Kacific Broadband Satellites International Limited to expand connectivity in the Asia Pacific.
The venture is planned to cater remote areas of small island nations in the Pacific and larger island nations like Indonesia and the Philippines. According to the banks sources this is ADB’s first financing of the kind.
In a statement, the ADB said the agreement will help make broadband internet connections more widely available to countries in the region.
ADB Director General for Private Sector Operations Michael Barrow said, “better access to reliable, high-speed internet can help improve education services, expand access to information, attract investments, reduce rural-urban development gaps, enhance and trade and connectivity, and stimulate local economies.”
He continued, “It will also help improve communication, especially during emergencies and times of disaster when terrestrial networks might be damaged.
Kacific found in 2013, is supported by a group of investors experienced in global telecommunications and infrastructure. It has offices in Australia, Singapore, and Vanuatu. Kacific provides services like wholesale connectivity, serves telecommunications operators, internet service providers, governments, and other service providers.
Kacific founder and CEO Christian Patouraux stated, “ADB’s involvement has helped secure the necessary financing for this highly developmental project. The benefits of connectivity are life-changing—from increased tourism, access to information, financial services, to health care and education for many remote communities in the region.”
The project is aimed at supporting construction, launch, and operation of a shared geostationary earth orbit, high-throughput satellite, Kacific-1.
The satellite is scheduled to be launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX this month, and will go into operation in early 2020.