Starlink to provide internet services in Fiji

The ETC installing a Starlink satellite data terminal at PPEOC in Ambae.

Starlink (Fiji) Pte Limited (‘Starlink’), a leading provider of low Earth orbiting satellite systems, has been granted a spectrum licence by the Ministry of Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs and Communications, and a telecommunications licence by the Telecommunications Authority of Fiji.

This marks a significant step for Fiji – granting the rights to Starlink to provide internet services to businesses and customers in Fiji.

Complementing terrestrial connectivity, the evolution of low-earth orbit satellites constellations (‘LEOs’) in providing robust telecommunications services has come as a lifeline for geographically dispersed countries like Fiji. With low latency, high speeds and simple plug and play setup, the LEOs are fast becoming the technology of choice for island nations and geographically sparse areas.

“The licencing of Starlink for commercial use is a game changer for Fiji as it strengthens our resilience in providing connectivity during natural disasters — this also serves the purpose of the Fiji Government’s efforts in connecting the unconnected population in maritime communities without significant upfront capital costs incurred”, said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs, and Communications Manoa Kamikamica.

“I look forward to Starlink and existing telecommunications companies partnering with the Ministry to bridge the digital divide”, added the Deputy Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has welcomed the Government’s decision to allow Starlink, a leader in satellite internet technology, into Fiji’s telecommunications market.

Chief executive, Joel Abraham said this move will revolutionise internet connectivity in Fiji, significantly bridging the digital divide.

Abraham said this initiative is a progressive step towards universal internet access, underscoring FCCC’s commitment to a competitive, fair, and dynamic market for the benefit of all Fijians.

“Currently in order to get access to some of these remote places you’ll need investment in infrastructure. And with the Starlink technology, you don’t need to make those investments. Access becomes very easy for remote Fijians.”

He stressed Starlink can be a game-changer in addressing inequality.

Abraham said as those living in remote or rural areas have not had the same level of access to the internet and its benefits as their counterparts in urban areas.

“Now, through this cutting-edge technology, even the most remote Fijian communities should be able to have high-speed internet access, overcoming traditional geographic barriers.”

Abraham said this new initiative will allow residents in rural and maritime regions to more actively participate in important digital economy, as well as access online education and benefit from telehealth services.