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SES Networks and PNG DataCo Restore Connectivity to Earthquake-Stricken Papua New Guinea  

May 13, 2019

Mobile networks and broadband internet access for corporate and consumer customers operated by PNG DataCo have been restored by SES Networks following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck near the town of Bulolo, Papua New Guinea in the early morning hours of 7 May 2019, SES announced today.

Connectivity for DataCo customers was disrupted due to damage caused to critical nodes of terrestrial and subsea transmission infrastructures between Port Moresby and Madang following the earthquake. Contingency teams from SES Networks used an additional O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) beam to deliver an extra 1.5 Gbps of low-latency IP Transit service to ease network congestion on DataCo’s damaged primary link. The additional bandwidth was made available within hours of receiving a request from DataCo.

“Together with DataCo, we are glad that connectivity has been restored swiftly to enable communications and critical disaster recovery services in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake,” said Imran Malik Khan, Vice President, Global Fixed Data Sales of SES Networks. “We recognise the importance of communications services in the event of natural disasters to facilitate quicker information transfer between families and communities, as well as to coordinate recovery and search-and-rescue operations. Our thoughts are with the affected communities, and we offer our well wishes.”

“It is our duty to provide the essential communications links for our customers to connect with their loved ones and facilitate critical business and operational activities,” said Paul Komboi, Managing Director of DataCo. “We are glad that SES’s O3b MEO satellites has provided us and our customers with a reliable, high-throughput and low-latency solution in our time of need. The fact that connectivity services were restored in the shortest possible time at critical areas where our primary linkages were down has helped the local communities, businesses and organisations greatly.”