Astranis and Orbits Corp are launching the first-ever internet satellite dedicated to the Philippines in 2024

July 11, 2023
John Gedmark, Astranis Co-founder and CEO

It is our mission at Astranis to connect the world, so we’re excited to announce our first satellite program in Asia and our first satellite program outside of the Americas:

A dedicated satellite for the Philippines, with enough bandwidth to connect up to two million people to reliable, affordable internet.

We are launching this program in partnership with Orbits Corp, a satellite services provider and sister company to a local Philippine ISP, HTechCorp, which has over 20 years of experience providing internet services to the 7,000+ islands of the Philippines. Led by former Congressman of the Philippines legislature Atty Augusto Baculio, Orbits Corp’s mission aligns with ours perfectly: to connect unconnected regions, providing them with the tools necessary to thrive in the digital age.

This will be the first internet satellite ever dedicated to the Philippines, a nation that is uniquely challenging to cover with traditional connectivity solutions like fiber, microwave, and large satellite systems. There are over 20 typhoons in the Philippines every year, and given the archipelago’s position in the Ring of Fire, other natural disasters often test the resolve of Filipinos, whether they live in Metro Manila or a rural community like Barangay Caagutayan. Fiber lines flood; microwave towers fall over; and often the entire country is left to rely on satellite internet services to remain connected and safe.

Given those geographic challenges, just 11,000 of the country’s 42,000 Barangay (local communities) are covered by fiber today, and many of those left unconnected are what the Filipino Administration has identified as Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA). These GIDA communities often do not have local hospitals, and their people make, on average, less than $5,000 per year.

Connecting these GIDA communities to reliable, affordable internet services is a major priority of the government of the Philippines — and we are excited to do our part. We expect that this first satellite can connect approximately 5,000 sites, which means up to 2 million people connected. That’s a huge impact, and it’s a great step towards achieving the goals that the Filipino Administration has set with its Free Wi-Fi For All and National Broadband Plan initiatives. We plan to work with the Department of Information and Communications Technology, as well as the Department of Trade and Industry, to see how our system can assist with those national priorities.

Bringing high-speed internet access to the Philippines with our dedicated satellite will raise the standard of living and contribute to the country’s GDP. A 2021 independent analysis found that digital transformation might unlock $100 billion of yearly economic value. On a more personal level, access to the internet also means access to critical services such as hospital care and advice from specialists, and education from world-class teachers.

In all of our visits to the Philippines, including trips to some of the most rural places in the nation, one theme rang true no matter which island we visited: the Filipino people are incredibly resilient. They are resilient in the face of natural disasters and in the face of geographic challenges that have historically denied them access to the services that the internet has to offer.

We are incredibly excited to give the Filipino people their own, dedicated satellite — which we expect to be a critical piece of infrastructure that helps millions of people improve their lives.

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Astranis and Orbits Corp are launching the first-ever internet satellite dedicated to the Philippines in 2024
July 11, 2023

We're building the first-ever broadband internet satellite dedicated to the Philippines. 2 million people, 5000 rural communities, 1 MicroGEO.