Ka-band satellite technology: a bigger window to the world for Filipinos

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FOR most people, buffering on Netflix is ​​unthinkable. But for people in rural and remote areas of the Philippines, it is not possible to submit assignments online or make a video call with loved ones. They just don’t have access to a stable internet connection.

As in many countries in Asia, the digital landscape of the Philippines makes reliable connectivity a privilege. It’s not just the fact that 32% of the total population always stays offline, but also that not everyone has access to the same speed or reliability of service.

For the 9.4 million people who live in the “last mile”, access is particularly low. According to an analysis by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Thinking Machines Data Science, only 9.5% of Filipinos living in last mile areas (living more than two kilometers from a major road network) live in the usable perimeter of relay antennas. The Central Visayas have the largest last mile population without access to sufficient mobile speeds.

And every day, many people in rural areas literally go the extra mile, climb mountains, or even rent a motorbike every day to get to town, just to secure an internet connection. This leaves people in rural areas behind, losing out on opportunities ranging from online education to remote work and skills upgrading.

Satellite broadband, delivered through new and sophisticated technology, can help bridge this gap. Kacific, a Singapore-based company, aims to provide reliable, high-speed and cost-effective broadband Internet access to rural areas using satellite technology. They operate a state-of-the-art satellite built by Boeing on a new very high frequency spectrum: the Ka band.

Ka-band systems provide service at higher bandwidth and at much lower data transmission costs than older satellite technology using C- and Ku-band solutions. The highly concentrated spot beams enable highly effective geographic targeting, especially in mountainous areas.

Ka band satellite dishes are much smaller than Ku or C band equipment for standard bandwidth throughput, so they are cheaper and easier to install. And thanks to advances in technology over the years, operators can now mitigate the effects of rain fade (when heavy rain affects the signal). This makes it possible to offer a constant speed and to maintain communications even in bad weather.

With six spot beams covering every location in the Philippines, Kacific has partnered with local internet service provider Bambunet, powered by Kloche Communications, to reach Filipinos in remote areas, especially islands.

Bambunet has helped set up sites in government offices, schools and local businesses. For example, satellite internet connection has made a significant difference in public schools in the Burias Islands. The lack of a reliable internet connection at school made it difficult for teachers to use distance learning modules or participate in online trainings and webinars.

Joyce Flores, a public school teacher, said: “Since the installation of the satellite dish, our lives have improved so much. We no longer need to go to ‘signalan’ to get service, you don’t have to climb the mountain and worry about getting caught in the rain”. Joyce can now teach her students in her own classroom.

Don’t have network coverage and need fast, affordable internet services? Call Bambunet powered by Kloche Communications on (0998) 555 3243 or visit www.bambunet.com. SPONSORED CONTENT.

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