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Elon Musk donates 50 satellite terminals to Tonga

SpaceX has donated 50 VSAT terminals to Tonga. “They are sending over 50 terminals and we are looking at how we can best utilize it,” Prime Minister Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni said this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Tonga's international telecommunications fibre option cable is still on track to be temporarily fixed by Feb. 20, he said.

"We are still on track to fix it by either Sunday or Monday, that's for the international cable. The domestic one might take a little bit longer.”

The cable was broken by a volcanic eruption and tsunami on Jan. 15.

The government is also considering offers to increase Tonga’s internet capacity, which has been operating on a very small bandwidth since the cable was broken.

“Now we've got a few free capacity from satellite orbitry,” said the Prime Minister.

This includes US billionaire, Elon Musk’s satellite proposal and “it's something we are testing right now.”

Meanwhile, a statement on the Tonga government portal said the satellite disks were donated on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

MEIDECC CEO Paula Ma’u expressed his gratitude to SpaceX.

“These terminals will be deployed at strategic locations throughout Tonga to ensure connection and communications are maintained, particularly for the disaster response operation".

Technical staff from SpaceX and the Tonga Government are working on installing the equipment scheduled to be launched next week.

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