Reaching the last mile: satellite telecommunications in Papua New Guinea


The broadband satellite operator Kacific Broadband Satellites Group was created to deliver affordable and reliable internet to the Pacific and South East Asia. Business Advantage PNG spoke with CEO & Founder Christian Patouraux to discuss the future of satellite connectivity in the Pacific.

Business Advantage PNG (BAPNG): First, tell us about how Kacific started.

Christian Patouraux: I’ve learnt a lot about the [telecommunications industry] market in the many years of working in satellite and consulting. This experience helped me realised the satellite industry had all the necessary ingredients to change lives within rural areas. This is where the company’s fundamental aim lies.

Beginning the business, however, was a long and rocky road, I had to appeal to investors and raise US$250 million (about K877 million).

Despite the challenges, by December 2019 we managed to finance and launch a satellite which entered service in March 2020. Since then, we’ve seen really positive impacts and have implemented services in over 10,000 sites [across the Asia-Pacific].

BAPNG: What market do you direct your services towards?

CP: There were certainly some difficulties associated with the market we focus on. This involved an average willingness to pay and a general lack of affluence. We were also dealing with a lot of people from rural and remote areas, often from locations that lacked any prior internet services. Around 75 to 80 per cent of the time, we roll out services in locations where there have not been any previously. It was by no means the most appealing market, but it has paid off in the end.

‘With satellite slowly becoming more readily available, companies can now operate more efficiently and extend their business to online marketplaces.’

BAPNG: How are rural communities benefiting from these satellite telecommunication services?

Kacific’s Christian Patouraux

CP: Within remote areas, the internet can save lives. I would like to see the implementation of our services to help eradicate the precarity often characteristic of rural areas.

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By elevating levels of education and communication, many pressing health issues can be addressed. For example, we have seen children being bitten by snakes and people dying of appendicitis in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, but improved communication allows for these and other conditions to be addressed and treated more efficiently.

BAPNG: What role does Kacific play in national economic growth?

CP: The internet has the ability to completely transform the economic landscape. A 2019 survey found that unreliable telecommunications were the number one factor affecting businesses in PNG.

With satellite slowly becoming more readily available, companies can now operate more efficiently and extend their business to online marketplaces. This will allow PNG’s companies to become more competitive on an international scale, while continuing to operate from remote areas.

BAPNG: Tell us a little bit about the quality of your broadband satellite services.

CP: It is a surprisingly similar service to what you would have in a city. Our flagship product is around 30 megabit per second down and 10 megabit per second up. We also offer plans that go up to 100 megabit per second. Although we could offer plans with an increased speed, we prefer to provide packages that provide a more constant quality and an accessible price point.


  1. Elsie Bomai says

    There was a v-sat disk built some years back in my village in PNG but is no longer working, will this service be of help?

  2. Regina Gardner says

    How is the service beneficial to a family without income living in remote area in PNG?

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