Intelsat enhances connectivity in Palau with innovative dual-satellite solution


Intelsat, a leading operator of one of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial networks, has successfully launched a dual-satellite connectivity solution for the Republic of Palau, significantly improving internet services for its 18,000 residents across nine islands. This initiative marks a pivotal advancement in Palau’s communications infrastructure, providing robust, “always-on” connectivity that is essential for both everyday life and emergency situations.

Overcoming Connectivity Challenges in Palau

The Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) previously depended solely on a single undersea fiber-optic cable connected to Guam for its internet and communication needs. However, this reliance posed risks, as evidenced by a necessary week-long outage in July 2023 for emergency repairs likely due to damage from Typhoon Mawar. This event limited international internet access to only critical services, highlighting the vulnerability of relying on a single connection source.

Intelsat boosts connectivity in Palau with innovative dual-satellite solution

Intelsat boosts connectivity in Palau with innovative dual-satellite solution

Intelsat’s Tailored Satellite Solution

In response, Intelsat devised a specialized solution involving two geostationary satellites positioned in separate orbital slots. This design utilizes software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) technology to merge the services of both satellites, offering unparalleled redundancy and flexibility. This system ensures that during outages, critical infrastructure maintains connectivity via C-band links, while the Ku-band serves the broader population needs, including potential future expansion.

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Gaurav Kharod, regional vice president at Intelsat, emphasized the project’s alignment with Intelsat’s mission, stating, “This project exemplifies Intelsat’s commitment to bridging the digital divide and fostering connectivity for all corners of the world.”

Expanding Economic and Social Opportunities

This enhanced connectivity framework not only safeguards against disruptions but also introduces internet service to Palau’s Southwest islands for the first time, creating significant new revenue opportunities for PNCC. With more reliable internet, residents can access vital government services, engage with a broader range of entertainment and educational resources, and benefit from telehealth services.

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Simon Fraser, CEO of PNCC, praised the partnership, noting, “Intelsat was the right partner for us due to that flexibility and their experience in operating in island nations like Palau.” The impact of this project extends beyond improved internet access; it fosters greater social and economic development, enhances educational opportunities, and strengthens global connections for the remote islands.

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