"Internet" is one of the most desired telecommunication service of governments, educational institutions, and other non-profit organizations in Pacific Island Countries. Internet is viewed as one of the most important tools that can help to overcome the severe barriers to development, that include the separation of the countries by millions of square miles of ocean, the high cost of transportation, the low per capital income of these countries, and the needs of these countries to participate in the global village. At the same time, the deployment of Internet has been stymied by the general high costs of communications and the monopoly control of services in large parts of the Pacific.
The purposes of this paper are to broadly discuss the plans of the Pan-Pacific Education and Communication Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) Program to deploy Internet for public service telecommunications. The paper describes PEACESAT's commitment to public service telecommunications, its operating principals, and its Services Improvement Plan that will establish 8 digital Hub Sites in Pacific Island Countries.
The mission of the Pan-Pacific Education and Communication Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) program are to support international distance education, research, telemedicine, emergency management, and economic development experiments and applications and to provide an experimental laboratory for research in the development and application of low-cost, communication technologies. PEACESAT achieves these mission goals through the use of satellite communications and provides many different non-commercial services. These services include access to Internet and other information services, point- to-point and voice conferencing, and compressed video.
The PEACESAT network ties together government, educational, and other non- profit country and regional organizations in 22 Pacific countries. There are 44 PEACESAT earth stations in this network with 9 more in the planning stages. Through this network, PEACESAT is helping to build "The Internet Global Information Infrastructure" in the Pacific and would like to share its plans with the INET'95 attendees.
PEACESAT is funded in part by the National Telecommunications and Information Adminis-tration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The program began in 1971 through the use of a single SCPC voice circuit on ATS- 1 and is now operating through 9 simplex and 3 full-duplex circuits over a NOAA GOES satellite. For 23 years, the program has provided an ongoing experimental laboratory for public service communication applications.
In 1993, PEACESAT made Internet access available on its full-duplex circuits. The response to Internet was overwhelming and user demand grew immensely along with requests for further improvements in access and data services.
In response to these demands, PEACESAT and NTIA initiated the design of a digital network capability known as the PEACESAT Services Improvement Plan (See Okamura and Mukaida, 1993). The SIP, when implemented, will enable 8 country sites with the capability to support multiple concurrent data links on continuous, a 7 day a week, 24 hour a day basis. The concurrent links will be supported via digital circuits and time-division multiple access technology. These technologies will enable Internet nodes to be established under the PEACESAT umbrella for public service telecommunications.
PEACESAT has also developed and implemented a remote access capability, electronic post-office systems, and is exploring the deployment of a HF/SSB interface to its earth stations to support low-cost continuous access to Internet for extremely remote areas and for emergency management purposes.
These and other plans will be described in the paper in detail.