As many as ten South Pacific Islands are out of telephone contact with the rest of the world. This rare occurrence occurred when the satellite that
serves the nations lost its alignment. The nations affected include Cook Islands, Western Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Vanuatu, Tokelau,
Tuvalu, Tonga and the U.S. territory of American Samoa.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - The loss of a communications satellite left 10 South Pacific nations without telephone contact with the outside world, New
Zealand communications officials said Tuesday.
A further five Pacific states and three Asian territories were also affected but had alternative backups available, Telecom New Zealand Ltd. said in a
In what satellite operator Intelsat Ltd. called an extremely rare event, one of its satellites moved out of alignment and was lost on Saturday. The
New Zealand communications company rented capacity on the lost Intelsat unit.
The satellite's loss left the Pacific Island nations of Cook Islands, Western Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Vanuatu, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Tonga
and the U.S. territory of American Samoa without communications links to other states, Telecom said. The other countries were also affected but could
plug into backup systems.
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Without this, there are no international calls or the like. Local service remains, but everything dependant on sharing information from ATM to
airline information has been cut off. This really highlight our dependance on the communication system. Partial capacity has been restored, but some
islands will be unable to communicate untill alternative arrangements can be made.
[edit on 18-1-2005 by Banshee]