...to initiate their own satellite program to reduce dependency on Internet and IDD calls currently provided by other nations. The provision of low cost Internet and international calls is a public service that was made a priority for all the nations involved. The seven nations include Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.
Speaking at the signing ceremony witnessed by Mentor Mr. Barak Tame Sope of Vanuatu, His Excellency Thureign said that the launch of the satellite is a long-term investment by all the nations involved bringing economic benefits and savings for the population but also for attracting international businesses by providing efficiencies and economies that are unacceptably high under the present supply. “As island nations, infrastructure and cabling were not viable options when so many of us live in extremely remote locations,” said H.E. Thureign. “We are looking to elevate the standard of our people and their access to continuing education through the Internet and expanding their horizons and community through a flat-fee annual telephone charge of just US$50 per line for unlimited usage for within country.”
Thureign added that not only business and education were considerations but also the advances in satellite video communications would have enormous value to save lives by connecting with medical specialists around the world to provide valuable expertise in operating theaters throughout the pacific. Funding from this project has been provided from various donations, especially from China. The satellite will be launched from Russia using existing commercial launch vehicles. Pacific ComNet have commissioned the satellite from Russia-based TIME Technologic LLC who have entered a Joint-venture for this project with Peixin Investment (HK) Ltd. The technical and financial viability will be implemented by a consortium of scientific and technical companies headed by Dr. Sias Mostert of Space Commercial Services Holding (Pty) Ltd. in South Africa. The life expectancy of the satellite is 50 years. (Source: People's Daily Online, English Edition, story by Huang Shuai)