Six years ago a team from Stratos came to Pitcairn and installed a satellite antenna on the island giving residents access to the telephone system and internet. This opened up communication to the world in a new way and made Pitcairn residents feel a lot less isolated from the rest of the world.
In January 2012 Stratos was bought out by Inmarsat (International Maritime Satellite) who have a Land Earth Station based at Albany New Zealand.
On 31st May 2012 a team of three arrived on Pitcairn Island. John Pronk, Tim Jones and Dave Thew are all from New Zealand. It has been their job to upgrade the communication system. They have achieved this by replacing the rusty backing of the satellite dish, replacing the buc and low noise block, installing a new Cisco router, switches and river bed. With the new acceleration equipment the internet speed will improve from 0.8mb up to 10mb. This will mean internet speed will have quadrupled. Residents will not find it practical to view You-Tube or down load music or movie clips but all the basic facilities like email and access to web sites will be faster and more efficient. This is exciting news for all of us here on Pitcairn and we are grateful to the British High Commission for funding this project.
To give you an example of the improved speed of the new system. Last week it took me more than 40 minutes to add a post to this blog site. Today it took just 10 minutes.
Dave Thew inspecting the back of the satellite dish
John Pronk inside the satellite shed
In addition to the work on the internet system they also installed a monitor platform for Inmarsat “Isat Data Pro”. Pitcairn Island is in an ideal location for monitoring and testing the satellite systems but this does not directly benefit the residents on the island.