Tiny South Pacific island to lose free/universal Internet lifeline

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I don’t suppose there’s a - yknow - contract? Or does the company get to just make stuff up? Maybe none of those thousand people is an international lawyer, but surely there’s someone, somewhere, who would take this on pro bono? Won’t somebody think of the children?


Maybe they should establish a minimum wage. So everyone can afford satellite access!

According to the article, it’s NZD50/10GB, not NZD50/10MB. While that’s quite possibly still unaffordable for the island’s residents, it seems a bit more reasonable.

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The population is 1,190. What could it cost per year?

Some company could probably pay of it out of the advertising budget and reap the goodwill.

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Of course there’s a contract and so the terms of ending or changing the contract are likely spelled out pretty clearly. If Rocket Systems were in violation of that contract, it would be in the story.

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Goodwill ain’t worth what it used to be.

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This looks like a job for Tech Billionaire Man!!!

Is there no better option than satellite that’s also cheaper upfront than wiring the ocean floor?


Well, they could use a barge full of flash drives. Incredible bandwidth if you don’t mind the latency.



I’m surprised that peddling novelty TLDs managed to sustain the cost of subsidizing satellite internet connections for as long as it did.

There certainly isn’t zero demand for them; and sometimes people will even made dubious choices to get especially twee domain names(Hey guys, let’s put our domain name under Libyan jurisdiction so that we can be bit.ly!); but especially with search engines substantially cratering the market for “thing.com” values and the enthusiasm for just about any vaguely-appealing-and-meaningless name as an option; assorted oddball TLDs just aren’t worth very much. Many make you look sketchy merely by association(".biz" might as well be "so sketchy I make florida condo timeshare salemen feel unclean.) and even the ones that don’t trigger a fight-or-flight response still aren’t terribly interesting. Lots of little countries with loose country code TLD registration requirements run primarily for profit rather than for outfits associated in some way with that country.

In this vein, has anyone had better luck than I in looking up what maintenance/insurance/ongoing operational costs are for undersea fiber, even back-of-napkin-ballpark-figures? You can sometimes find at least approximate up-front costs in the announcement of new links being planned or laid; but ‘and how much to keep the lights on?’ doesn’t seem to be as widely discussed.

Fiber is certainly superior enough that it beats satellite on cost at some not-too-terribly-large number of users/amount of demand; but if you can’t afford to keep it lit, or are just rolling the dice and hoping that nothing breaks because you can’t afford to fix it if it does, you are running the ugly risk of spending a lot of money and then not having any connection.

Satellite is forever expensive and high latency; but it does have the virtue that you can go from smoking crater to internet access for under $5,000(quite possibly less if you aren’t a smoking crater or if satellite modem prices have come down); which makes if substantially less likely that you’ll ever be stuck in a ‘no internet at all until crushing-gigantic-sum has been raised’ situation, though each marginal chunk of internet will be pretty expensive.


Here in the UK advertisers seem to have largely given up quoting web addresses. Instead they say “search Acme Widget Offers” and trust the Google gods to deliver customers to their site.

I wonder if that’s because many people don’t appear to understand what a web browser is and wouldn’t know where to type a domain name even if they had one.

The ironic thing is people pay thousands of dollars to go to islands like that to leave technology behind for awhile.

If only we could go back to the reliable AOL Keyword!

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