ADB's first satellite financing to expand internet access in Asia and Pacific
Manila [Philippines], Dec 3 (ANI): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a 50 million dollar agreement with Kacific Broadband Satellites International Ltd to provide affordable satellite-based, high-speed broadband internet connections to countries in Asia and the Pacific, especially in remote areas of small island nations in the Pacific and larger island nations like Indonesia and the Philippines.
This is ADB's first satellite financing. The Asia Pacific Remote Broadband Internet Satellite Project will help make broadband internet connections more widely available to countries in the region where more than two billion people do not have reliable internet access due to inadequate infrastructure, geographical challenges and the high cost of services.
"Better access to reliable, high-speed internet can help improve education services, expand access to information, attract investments, reduce rural-urban development gaps, enhance trade and connectivity, and stimulate local economies," said ADB Director General for Private Sector Operations Michael Barrow.
"It will also help improve communication, especially during emergencies and times of disaster when terrestrial networks might be damaged," he said.
Kacific Founder and CEO Christian Patouraux said ADB's role was key in getting the transaction closed.
The project will support the construction, launch and operation of a shared geostationary earth orbit, high-throughput satellite. Kacific-1 is scheduled to be launched by SpaceX later this month and will be operational in early 2020.
The financing comprises loans from ADB and Leading Asia's Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP) which is administered by ADB. Established in March 2016 with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, LEAP is one of ADB's co-financing vehicles dedicated to private sector infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific.
ADB will work with GuarantCo, a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company, to guarantee additional private co-financing for the project.