Kacific’s achievements in fostering greater internet usage, fueling economic growth, and improving service delivery have been recognized by Telecom Review, with Christian Patouraux honored as CEO of the Year for Wholesale & Capacity.
The award, presented to Christian in absentia due to Covid restrictions, was made at the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit. Telecom Review describes the awards as the standard by which the industry judges its peers.
In making the award, Telecom Review noted, “Kacific became the first satellite operator to start from the ground up with neither a parent company nor a license to operate.”
The panel of judges, comprised of leading experts from around the world, paid particular attention to two initiatives, both reflecting Kacific’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The first was the services Kacific provided to vulnerable and isolated communities. When the COVID crisis took the world by surprise, and medical care and sharing information were crucial in combatting it, many rural regions throughout the Pacific were without connectivity to the resources of their main cities. To bridge this gap, Kacific rapidly initiated a large-scale Community WiFi project to provide rural health clinics covered by the reach of the Kacific high throughput satellite with high-quality, low-cost satellite broadband and easy-to-install antennas.
In addition, working in partnership with GuarantCo, Kacific secured a grant from the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) Technical Assistance to fund the terminals and help governments and communities in Asia and the Pacific in their fight against the pandemic. Since the start of this initiative, over 260 terminals have been installed in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines, and Tonga bringing fast affordable broadband to health clinics, schools, and communities in these countries. Kacific’s service has helped government agencies to curb, monitor, and control the spread of infectious Covid-19 clusters in rural areas and provide vital training and support to local medical practitioners to cope with local virus outbreaks.
The second initiative was Kacific’s operational response to the commercial challenges brought on by the pandemic. Kacific commenced service delivery on 9 March 2020, just as COVID-19 hit. Since its customer base of ISPs and telcos found themselves unable to commit to long-term contracts, Kacific had to rapidly adapt its business focus to create a new franchise business model. It introduced Gigstarter, a flexible, prepaid, and pre-packaged, broadband plan which allows ISPs to sell bandwidth on a monthly contract to end-users, plan-by-plan, site-by-site, enabling the ISPs to tailor services to meet the actual demands and needs of each customer and to package the broadband service with affordable, easy to install VSAT terminals.