Kacific Broadband Satellites, a startup operating satellites in Asia Pacific, has today announced a new partnership with Indonesian satellite provider BigNet.

The deal, which closed at $78mn (approx. £50mn), aims to increase broadband connectivity across Indonesia, using satellite signals to cover the nation’s entire archipelago of 17,000 islands with a particular focus on the developing eastern region.

Kacific spoke of the opportunity for the satellite industry in Indonesia, with its large land area and population of around 250 million inhabitants.

Although many providers offer internet services in heavily populated areas of the country such as the capital Jakarta, Indonesia still trails modern broadband expectations with large areas only able to access the internet through 2G and 3G networks.

The nation is now devising a broadband strategy alongside Kacific to provide inexpensive connectivity in smaller cities and remote rural areas for schools, businesses, and government agencies.

“People living in areas where forestry and fishing are the predominant industries have some buying power, but not enough for most internet service providers to make a business case to serve them using fixed line networks,” explained Zoel Gandhi, director at BigNet.

According to Kacific and BigNet, customers will be able to access high-speed satellite internet via a small and cheap satellite dish (VSAT).

“This is a key milestone for Kacific, and a great promise for Indonesia,” said Kacific’s CEO, Christian Patouraux. “Bringing connectivity with disruptively low cost can unlock tremendous untapped demand in the Southeast Asian and Pacific countries,” he added.

Nicolas Tannady, CEO of BigNet also commented:

“Hospitals and clinics can get advice on the diagnosis and treatment of patients from experts. Students can connect to lessons from the best teachers and access quality resources online. Project execution and emergency planning and disaster recovery programs will be more effective. The service will also create opportunities for the wider public to do ecommerce and access affordable bandwidth, which can subsequently increase wealth of communities.”