Hon Prime Minister thanks Elon Musk for satellite assistance

Hon. Prime Minister, Hu'akavameiliku speaking at soft launch.

23rd February, 2022 TONGAN Prime Minister, Hon. Hu’akavameiliku today acknowledged the assistance from prominent engineer Elon Musk who has donated 50 VSAT Terminals to Tonga through the SpaceX and Starlink Emergency Satellite Service to assist during the current internet crisis in Tonga.

Hon. Hu’akavameiliku made the statement during a soft launch program at the Prime Minister’s Office today, Wednesday 23rd February, here in Nuku’alofa.

He also acknowledged New Zealand Member of Parliament Hon Dr. Shane Reti who sought Mr Musk’s assistance two days after the January 15, 2022 volcanic eruptions and tsunami which damaged Tonga Cable’s submarine cables and cut off the country’s communication services and internet access.

Hon Hu’akavameiliku said the VSAT Terminals will be installed at all island groups from Tongatapu to the two Niuas to provide fast and free of charge internet service and communication links.

Although the Tonga Cable submarine cables have restored international internet service, domestic cables to Vava’u and Ha’apai are still being repaired.

“On behalf of His Majesty’s Government, I thank all that have made today possible, to Dr Reti for bringing to the fore the dire needs of the Kingdom. And particularly Mr Elon Musk who probably didn’t know much about Tonga till the 15th of January event, but gave generously anyway,” Hon Hu’akavameiliku said.

Prime Minister with Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Health with CEO of MEIDECC and Communication Department staff.

The Prime Minister said he hopes this is the beginning of a continued working relationship and close collaboration between the people of the Kingdom of Tonga and SpaceX.

Tonga was left with very limited communication service when around 90 kilometers of Tonga’s submarine cable was severely damaged and cut into pieces on January 15.

While Tonga Cable Limited quickly arranged to fix and to restore the cable system, several offers and assistance from development partners, UN Agencies and donor agencies, were pouring in with satellite link and capacities, which include the SpaceX and Starlink terminals.

That assistance enabled His Majesty’s Government to access internet service with foreign countries and donor partners.

Mr. James Panuve, General Manager, Tonga Cable Ltd delivering vote of thanks.


Issued by: The Prime Minister’s Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 7401351 Fax: (676) 23 888; For media enquiries- Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.pmo.gov.to

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