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Zander
58 posts

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  #2852713 18-Jan-2022 10:05
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Yank1w1:

 

It would be nice to see SpaceX send a few dozen Starlink dishes to Tonga to restore internet access at least temporarily until undersea cable is repaired.   Place them in shelters, libraries and other government buildings as Wi-Fi hotspots to allow people to contact family and friends. 

 

 

 

 

I thought the same thing, but Starlink still needs ground-stations to connect to, then the ground-stations connect via fibre to the rest of the internet.  Without ground stations and a fibre link somewhere the dishes won't do much.  Fiji is 800km away even if it has ground-stations.  Starlink are only just now launching some satellites with laser connections which could help, but will take months to get in position.  It sounds like Tonga's undersea cable may be repaired in a couple of weeks hopefully.


Scotdownunder
171 posts

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  #2852788 18-Jan-2022 12:36
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Very true vs internet access but Starlink could be great system to connect the central government on the main island with all their remote outer islands of many of the Pacific nations.  For those with subsea fibre access like Fiji, Samoa and Tonga (once their fibre is fixed) it can also provide that internet access.


MikeAqua
6820 posts

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  #2852837 18-Jan-2022 14:01
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Yank1w1:

 

It would be nice to see SpaceX send a few dozen Starlink dishes to Tonga to restore internet access at least temporarily until undersea cable is repaired.   Place them in shelters, libraries and other government buildings as Wi-Fi hotspots to allow people to contact family and friends. 

 

 

Or the King of Tonga (being opulently wealthy) could pay for it.





Mike




kingdragonfly
7020 posts

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  #2852847 18-Jan-2022 14:12
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"SpaceX needs to get license and permission from the Tonga government before it can offer service, which take months, if not years."

"At the moment Starlink is a last mile solution using a local point of presence for internet connectivity. Sadly Tonga has no connectivity for a local "Point of Presence" (POP).

Lasers in space clearly will change that model fundamentally.

"there is no Starlink ground station there or nearby."

Reddit thread

wellygary
6648 posts

Uber Geek


  #2852867 18-Jan-2022 14:18
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Scotdownunder:

 

Very true vs internet access but Starlink could be great system to connect the central government on the main island with all their remote outer islands of many of the Pacific nations.  For those with subsea fibre access like Fiji, Samoa and Tonga (once their fibre is fixed) it can also provide that internet access.

 

 

They already have one, signed up in 2019 after a fishing boat dragged up the cable...

 

"Tonga's government has inked a deal for a high speed, satellite internet connection. Satellite operator Kacific Broadband Satellites said it had signed a 15-year agreement with the state-owned Tonga Satellite....
....It could be redistributed to the country's main centres in the event of a cable outage."

 

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/387124/tonga-to-set-up-satellite-internet-connection

 

Unfortunately there appears to be an issue over billing, So I think the operator may have reprocessed some of the equipment

 

"Kacific, the broadband satellite company that rescued Tonga from its digital darkness in January 2019 when the Tonga cable was cut, is taking legal proceedings to recover a fee of USD$5.76 million it claims is owed by a Tonga government entity, Tonga Satellite Ltd."

 

https://matangitonga.to/2021/06/03/court-orders-tonga-satellite-ltd-be-restored-register-companies

 

 

 

 


wellygary
6648 posts

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  #2852972 18-Jan-2022 15:49
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Edit: It seems that the equipment might still be usable 

 

Kacific have said the "look forward to hearing from" the Tonga Government ... 

 

Although it distinctly sounds like Tonga might need to bring their checkbook thou.....

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/127527180/satellite-firm-willing-and-able-to-connect-tonga-under-disputed-2019-contract

 

 


kingdragonfly
7020 posts

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  #2853015 18-Jan-2022 17:16
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I know nothing of Tonga, and I don't think I've even met a Tongan.

Even Tuvalu made a bigger impact with me, with their Cop26 video

"Tonga government" is a oxymoron even before the eruption? It has a pretty embarrassing section in Wikipedia.

Disaster preparedness doesn't seem to be top of their agenda.



Linuxluver
5781 posts

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  #2853074 18-Jan-2022 20:20
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Yank1w1:

It would be nice to see SpaceX send a few dozen Starlink dishes to Tonga to restore internet access at least temporarily until undersea cable is repaired.   Place them in shelters, libraries and other government buildings as Wi-Fi hotspots to allow people to contact family and friends. 



They may still need local uplink. After they are all laser linked it might be possible to do something like that.




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gehenna
7350 posts

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  #2853100 19-Jan-2022 00:25
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kingdragonfly: "SpaceX needs to get license and permission from the Tonga government before....


Unless you're stuck in a flooded Thai cave. Then Elon will send you a submarine without a care for what the government wants.

MikeAqua
6820 posts

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  #2853178 19-Jan-2022 08:49
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gehenna:
kingdragonfly: "SpaceX needs to get license and permission from the Tonga government before....


Unless you're stuck in a flooded Thai cave. Then Elon will send you a submarine without a care for what the government wants.

 

And then defame an actual rescuer.





Mike


Linuxluver
5781 posts

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  #2854433 20-Jan-2022 23:42
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MikeAqua: ghenna ->

Unless you're stuck in a flooded Thai cave. Then Elon will send you a submarine without a care for what the government wants.


And then defame an actual rescuer.



Musk wasn't getting enough sleep during that period. The Tesla Model 3 production ramp was underway. People say dumb things when exhausted.

Musk can be a jerk. No argument there. But, wow, look at what he has accomplished! Amazing. More to come, too.




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Scotdownunder
171 posts

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  #2854802 22-Jan-2022 08:42
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Current lack of laser equipped satellites prevents international links but as a solution to inter-island communications it could fit the bill.  However, it would require the base station to be installed in the capital which is not a trivial piece of equipment.  Perhaps it is more of a future option when the kingdom starts rebuilding the infrastructure of the outer islands by which time the submarine cable will be repaired.


kingdragonfly
7020 posts

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  #2854825 22-Jan-2022 11:58
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This from the Reddit thread. I don't know if it's accurate.

"Without 'space lasers' Ground station needs to within 500km of clients.

I don't believe starlink has infrastructure that close.

Technically I believe the ground station can act as a rely not needing its own internet connection

Clients in Tonga connects to a ground station on a ship (for example) which uploads the signal again to sat (effectively acting as a proxy client) which connects to another ground station up to 500Km away, so forth, so forth.

Obviously there would be speed and reliability limitations but it would be better then nothing

Geo-stationary sat phones is all they have at the moment.

As far as I know this is all theoretical and none of this has been tested let alone infrastructure deployed

Tonga may not be covered by any of the constellations yet."

kingdragonfly
7020 posts

Uber Geek


  #2854828 22-Jan-2022 12:06
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Inmarsat’s BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) says they're available in Tonga, and has unlimited Internet.

It's pricey at around NZD $2,000/month

It's apparently being used for "Internet-of-things" like hydroelectric dams and farms.

BGAN Link


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