ASTCA adds bandwidth, completes BLAST home installations

The American Samoa Telecommunications Authority was able to expand internet capacity with the addition of 50 megabytes per second last December.

This gives ASTCA a total of 450 mbs of internet bandwidth and was made possible through the 03b Dual Antenna System and integrating the additional bandwidth to ASTCA’s ring network.

This is one of the accomplishments listed in ASTCA’s Fiscal Year 2017 first quarter performance report.

The biggest project that ASTCA has conducted is the Broadband Linking American Samoa Territory (BLAST) with a price tag of more than $90 million of which 90 percent was funded with a US grant.

ASTCA reports that in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2017, fiber to the homes installation for the BLAST Project on both Tutuila and Manu’a was completed.

It says new and old customers are being connected and reconnected with Fiber to the Homes services for internet and local phone service.

For future projects, ASTCA continues in the planning stage for the submarine capacity from the Hawaiki Cable to provide long term Gigabit internet services in mid 2018.

However the agency says funding for the project has been challenging.

According to testimony by ASTCA Board officials to the Fono, the authority is applying to the US Department of Agriculture for a grant to pay for the Hawaiki Cable.

Meanwhile its received a $3 million loan from the Retirement Fund and is seeking another loan of $4 million, also from the Retirement Fund  to go towards the Hawaiki cable.

Chairman of the ASTCA Board Roy Hall Jr, has testified last year that ASTCA’s total commitment to the Hawaiki cable was $28 million,

The Hawaiki Cable will connect New Zealand and Australia to the United States with spurs in several Pacific islands including American Samoa.

In the meantime, American Samoa has been invited to sign on to Samoa’s new marine cable connections, Tui Samoa and the Southern Cross network, Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele wrote to governor Lolo last month with a proposal for the two Samoa to work together on the Samoa American Samoa Cable which would connect with the US  mainland through the Tui Samoa cable and to Australia with the Southern Cross network.

Looking at ASTCA’s finances, the authority’s first quarter performance report for FY2017 shows it earned revenues of $3.9 million and spent $3,099,575.

Total encumbrances for the quarter came to $6.3 million and receivables amounted to $6.4 million.

Personnel costs for 200 employees came to $756,939, Travel used up $147,294,  Materials and Supplies amounted to $262,961, spending on Equipment totaled $870,300, Contractual Services was $50,254 and the All Other s category: was just over $1 million.


2 Comments

  1. FUND SURVIVAL!

    First and foremost, STOP trying to push for another loan. Yeah, tryin to find a funding source is challenging but not as DEVASTATING if the Retirement Fund were to go BELLY UP…thennn what, huh? Didn’t the Fono Retirement Comittee members just return from their fact finding mission? They have and the fact is…contributions from both the fund members and ASG have to be increased or the R-fund will go KAPUTS by year 2040; and that there will be no cost of living adjustments made until the fund is at least 65% SECURE……we contribute, you and others spend it….just ain’t right. I thought ASTCA already pursued a grant with USDOA…what’s the STATUS…or is there one? There has to be another way to procure funding. Perhaps you should consider off-island consultants on this one…then putting all of your Fererros in one box, the RETIREMENT FUND. All of this should have been considered during the initial planning stages of the BLAST project…don’t you think?

    Reply
  2. THERE GOES THAT

    HEY FUND SURVIVAL

    THERE GOES THAT

    Thank you for bringing this to light
    I am getting my retirement from WIC
    Not from ASG as it may have already been spent for the next two generations
    At least my retirement from WIC is straight from Unko Sam

    SPEAKING OF WHICH
    Unko Trump cutting us down
    The day is soon upon us when Unko Trump (who is already leaning towards) will keep the crumbs that are usually thrown to us to the tune of $400 mill a year
    Goodbye to that

    THERE GOES THAT

    Reply

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