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More than 50 million people live without fast, affordable internet access in and around the Pacific.

More than 2 million tourists spend in excess of $1,000 to $4,000 per trip per person in the Pacific every year.

More than 50 million people

20130220-fouleMore than 50 million people in communities across the Pacific live without fast, affordable access to the Internet. More than 13 million live on outer islands. Over 40 million more live in locations surrounding the Pacific, such as remote parts of Eastern Indonesia, where there is little connectivity. They all struggle to access the Internet with good quality and acceptable cost.

Because of their remoteness and dissemination, the islands suffer a chronic lack of connectivity. Paradoxically, the high-quality Internet enjoyed by the connected world exacerbates the isolation of islanders and rural communities, and deprives them of the human capital and economic growth that high-quality broadband connectivity has been proven to bring.

Demand models show that more than a million latent Internet users live in the extended Pacific islands, where there are high levels of education. Over a million latent Internet users could be added if the region was supplied with levels of connectivity equivalent to those found in developing parts of Asia, Africa or Central America. The lack of supply leads to the world’s highest Internet pricing in any deregulated or semi-deregulated telecom economy. Substandard, over-contended broadband services can easily reach monthly fees of hundreds – or even several hundreds – of dollars a month.

Even in extended American territories the cost of 1Mbps domestic broadband remains very expensive compared to mainland United States, Guam or Hawaii. This in turn leads to a significant loss of opportunities for local economies, including a low penetration of online bookings, online purchases and e-commerce. This, in turn, fuels a vicious circle of low supply, low penetration, hence again, low interest from international players in supplying more core bandwidth.

Limited amount of bandwidth supplied to end users

bouteille-a-la-merDespite the arrival of undersea cable on several islands, the situation country-wise has not really improved over the last decade. Access continues to be the main issue. The expensive maintenance of the cable, cable disruption and the cost of distributing its connectivity to most islanders, the famous “last mile” issue, remains a challenge. Broadband prices have continued keeping connectivity beyond the reach of many residents. In many places, undersea cable only provides affordable, quality bandwidth within a few kilometers of capital cities; residents living beyond this coverage are often able to access only expensive and slow packages.

The result is a limited amount of bandwidth supplied to end users. Local service providers are often given little choice but to overload thin pipes of connectivity with large numbers of users, leading to slow access. End-users are often unable to consume services or content that are increasingly geared towards highly connected countries. The bottom line is that few islanders can access bandwidth-hungry content and benefit from advances in online health, education, social, e-government and emergency communications services.

The internet penetration in the Pacific Islands and rural South East Asia lags 10 percent to 20 percent behind regions around the world with similar economic and human development.

Kacific is the first Pacific-wide solution specifically designed to bring high speed internet to the region.