The Fijian government through its Ministry of Communications and Telecommunications Authority of Fiji has extended the previously issued temporary license for SpaceX until January 31st, 2023.
The extension has been given upon the request of the Tongan Ministry of Communications.
A Temporary Telecommunications Service Licence was granted to SpaceX from February 1st until July 31st allowing the installation and operation of a satellite earth station in Fiji.
This was a response to the Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha’apai volcano eruption and Tsunami in Tonga in January which severed the undersea telecommunications cable that connects the Kingdom of Tonga to the world.
The Tongan Government had sought the assistance of the satellite internet provider, SpaceX, which in turn had sought the assistance of the Fijian Government for its approval to operate a satellite earth station in Fiji to re-establish Tonga’s international connectivity.
The Fijian government says as the need for SpaceX services remains, they have extended the license until January.
The Fijian Government is assisting the people of Tonga by supporting the continuation of domestic telecommunication/ICT service connectivity.
The setup of a satellite earth station in Fiji has also led SpaceX to explore expanding its StarLink satellite internet service to the Pacific region much quicker than planned.
The government says this will give Pacific countries, including Fiji, to build connectivity resiliency as the region continues to combat severe cyclones amongst other natural disasters.