Coverage of the .to internet outage

Joel M Snyder Joel.Snyder at Opus1.COM
Fri Jan 21 15:53:58 UTC 2022

Got an Intelsat press release which may be of interest to folks 
following the situation in Tonga.  I wish I could include just a URL, 
but they sent it to be as text so I am including the full thing:

Intelsat and Partners Bring Emergency Connectivity to Tonga

McLean, Va. – Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated 
satellite and terrestrial network, 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 

The undersea volcano, Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai, erupted on Jan. 15, 40 
miles north of Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa. The volcanic explosion and 
subsequent tsunami knocked out the undersea internet cables, 
disconnecting the region 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 partners, Telstra and Spark, are providing the 
ground infrastructure, including 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.”

Intelsat’s swift response is a testament to its communications 
infrastructure over the Pacific Islands, operational efficiencies, and 
longstanding commitment to serving the region. It is the quintessential 
demonstration of satellite solutions’ near-instantaneous communications 
activation in areas where disasters have crippled terrestrial networks.

In 2019, Tonga lost internet access for nearly two weeks when a 
fiber-optic cable was severed. Intelsat played a significant role in 
restoring the island's restoration connectivity by providing satellite 
capacity on Horizons 3e and Intelsat18 at that time.

Joel M Snyder, 1404 East Lind Road, Tucson, AZ, 85719
Senior Partner, Opus One       Phone: +1 520 324 0494
jms at Opus1.COM      

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