Tonga's Internet Restored With Help From SpaceX After Big Volcanic Eruption

SpaceX had established a station to help restore connections in Tonga.

Tonga's Internet Restored With Help From SpaceX After Big Volcanic Eruption

The fibre-optic cable is now fully operational again after being reconnected Tuesday

Highlights
  • Fonua said his company had been testing the satellite connections
  • Tonga has also been grappling with its first outbreak of the coronavirus
  • The outbreak has grown to more than 250 cases

Tonga's main Internet connection to the rest of the world has finally been restored more than five weeks after a huge volcanic eruption and tsunami severed a crucial undersea cable.

Three people in Tonga were killed by the January 15 tsunami, dozens of homes were destroyed and drinking water was tainted.

The fibre-optic cable is now fully operational again after being reconnected Tuesday, said Samiuela Fonua, the chairperson at Tonga Cable, the state-owned company that owns the cable.

“It's a huge relief when you know things have come to the end and are working well,” Fonua told The Associated Press. “It's one step forward for the country.”

Fonua said the crew aboard a repair ship replaced about 90 kilometres (56 miles) of cable that had been damaged by the tsunami. His company didn't have enough spare cable, Fonua added, and needed to borrow some from other companies.

The fix means that Tonga Cable can now focus on repairing a second severed cable that connects some of the outer islands to the main island, Fonua said. That cable runs close to the undersea volcano.

Fonua said that entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX company had also been helping restore connections through its network of low-orbit satellites called Starlink.

Fonua said his company had been testing the satellite connections this week and they had been working well. He said that now the main cable was restored, he hoped the SpaceX connections could be used for reconnecting people on some of the outer islands.

Officials in neighboring Fiji said SpaceX had established a station there to help restore connections in Tonga.

Tonga has also been grappling with its first outbreak of the coronavirus, which may have been brought in by foreign military crews aboard ships and planes delivering vital aid after the eruption.

The outbreak has grown to more than 250 cases but so far there have been no reported deaths. The country of 105,000 has begun easing some virus restrictions after initially imposing a lockdown.

Tongan health officials say that 90 percent of people aged 12 and over have had at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.


Can Realme 9 Pro and 9 Pro+ win their respective segments? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.
Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Further reading: SpaceX, Starlink, Elon Musk
Realme Narzo 50 Design Tipped via US FCC Listing Ahead of Launch in India
Jio Rs. 1,499, Rs. 4,199 Prepaid Recharge Plans With Disney+ Hotstar Premium Subscription Launched
Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment google-newsGoogle News
 
 

Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2023. All rights reserved.