Samoan schools go online for the first time

Many Samoan students’ are about to get access to the infinite educational opportunities available on the internet for the first time following the launch of the the Pacific Satellite Connectivity Project.

The joint initiative to provide previously unconnected schools a product of a compact with the International Telecommunications Union (I.T.U.) and broadband provider Kacific and will be implemented through the Office of the Regulator. 

The project will be installed at six sites, from Upolu to Savaii, all of them schools, the Acting Regulator, Cecily Fa'asau confirmed.

"Samoa has been very fortunate to have received this service to promote education in the rural communities," she said.

Selected schools include: Itu o Tane College, Malua Theological College, Apia International School, Faleapuna Primary School, Satapuala Primary School and Saleaumua Primary School.  

The benefits of the project to rural areas include better access during and after disasters.

"The benefits from these connectivity opportunities, especially for remote areas is that students now have the best access to knowledge from around the world.  They can now access more tutors for online tutorials, materials and assistance anytime from almost anywhere," Ms. Faasau said.

"It will also provide an opportunity for all villagers and neighbouring villages to access information when mobile services are down and if there is no radio communication during and after disasters."

Ms. Fa'asau said five very small aperture terminal (V.S.A.T.)  satellite dishes provided by Kacific will equip them to coordinate activities. 

The project coincides with Kacific’s first communications satellite entering into commercial service this week for customers across the Asia Pacific. 

Samoa will be among the countries to benefit from its telecommunications services. 

Currently suspended Regulator, Lefaoalii Unutoa Auelua-Fonoti visited the Boeing satellite factory in the American state of California, to view the Kacific1 satellite, a next-generation satellite which will stream high-speed low-cost broadband to Samoa from 2020.

Mrs. Fonoti was involved in discussions on how satellite broadband can bring both economic and social benefit to Samoa.

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