Being the most remote location in the world, the tiny island of Easter Island naturally doesn’t have the same access to modern comfort as the rest of the world. All our internet access goes through a satellite dish that communicates with a satellite in outer space. In total, the island shares 25 Mbit/s, which is around the same as each house in a well-developed country commonly has. This means that internet is painfully slow; especially since Easter Island locals use internet more and more each day. In the near future, this will change.
Entel PCS, which is the only company that offers telephone and internet services to the public at Easter Island, will towards the end of April this year buy 50 Mbit/s more bandwidth from the same satellite that’s currently in use. This means that our internet will instead of 25 Mbit/s have 75 Mbit/s, or three times the current speed.
Towards the end of the year, we have another even bigger improvement to look forward to. The current satellite dish is fixed, which means that it’s pointing towards a satellite that’s rotating around earth at the same speed as the earth spins, so the satellite is always fixed in the same position relative to earth. Chile has recently granted Entel PCS funding for a project to install three additional satellite dishes of smaller size, but they are not fixed as the current one. They will point towards satellites that are rotating in an orbit closer to earth, which improves the signal. They are not moving at the same speed as earth, so the satellite dishes will continuously follow them. When one satellite disappears out of sight, the satellite dishes will pinpoint the next one. This will come in effect in the end of 2014, and when it does, it will permit us to have further 100 Mbit/s.
Using this same technique we will, according to the plan of Entel PCS and the Chilean government, obtain an additional 100 Mbit/s at the end of 2015. This means that we then will have in total 275 Mbit/s instead of the current 25 Mbit/s – eleven times the current speed!
Life is getting more modern every day at Easter Island. Everyone want the extra comfort that it brings. But, does it come with a price? Does it ruin the small-town charm and ancient magic this island has? Please share your opinions and thoughts below!