Hong Kong-based SpeedCast says it has reached an agreement with the Australian government to deliver ‘wireless and 4G network services’ on Christmas Island until 30 June 2017, in a move which it claims will allow a transition period for Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) services to be installed more widely on the island. In a press release, SpeedCast noted that that the local ISP – Christmas Island Internet Administration (CiiA) – had ceased providing internet services to 1,000 homes and businesses on 1 March 2017, effectively disconnecting one of Australia’s most remote islands.
Having been notified of the closure, SpeedCast said that – as a full-service communications provider – it ‘rapidly initiated discussions with partners and the Australian Government to meet the needs of islanders’. To allow Christmas Island residents and businesses to regain internet access swiftly, SpeedCast has now arranged for disconnected accounts to be reactivated, following which all account holders will be migrated to a SpeedCast account ‘over the coming weeks’. Meanwhile, the company has also confirmed that it plans to work closely with community members to evaluate the provision of a Ka-band internet service on Christmas Island over a longer term; such a service, it has claimed, could complement NBN-based connectivity.
Commenting on the matter, Andrew Burdall, Executive Vice President, Enterprise & Emerging Markets at SpeedCast, said: ‘SpeedCast has extensive experience in remote locations around the world and is proud to support Christmas Island by maintaining connectivity for its residents and local businesses … A team from SpeedCast will be deployed to Christmas Island this week to oversee the change and revitalise the local internet infrastructure.’