Bringing remote schools in Samoa online


Just back from Samoa where I’ve had an extremely useful time interacting with people from all over the Pacific at the PacINET conference in Apia.

Yesterday afternoon, before I left, I had the opportunity to travel by boat to the small island of Manono which lies between the main islands of Upolo and Savai’i. A small group of conference delegates made the trip to participate in the initial setting up and trialling of a receiver on the island to bring internet connectivity to a small school there. The photo above shows me adjusting the receivers – these are made in New Zealand by Waikato University.

The 2020/Trust from New Zealand is the group that has initiated this project, in conjunction with a local computer services company in Samoa.

The photograph below shows me with the receiver, and in the distance is the volcanic peak at the Western end of Upolo where the signal is being received from.


5 thoughts on “Bringing remote schools in Samoa online

  1. Hello Derek, I’m really interested in the range between the transmitter / receivers that you helped to install. I assume they did transmit and receive by the way?

    In 2005, we created a wireless network using external antennae across the water, about a mile off-shore. When both ends were in perfect alignment, we got good bandwidth. At the time our biggest issue was that boat we were pointing at would move with the tide so had to ensure the spread was wide enough.

    What distances / bandwidth were you able to achieve?

  2. Just want to say thanks to the great and kindness work. They should have had that long time ago not only for everyone in the island but especialy the future generation and leaders for Samoa.

  3. Thakyou bro for your good work. I’m Samoan living overseas and I’m sure the people that lives there will really appreciate your work and I hope the communication system in Samoa will be improve as well. faafetai lava.

  4. Hi,

    I was the Project Manager for the WIFI network.
    We made a point to point link from Apia, to a nearby mountian caled Vea, then 18KM to Mt Tafua. From here we did point to multi point to cover a large section of the coast, including the island Manono.
    We connetced 3 schools, but the system has capacity for 50, so we have left a challange for the Min of Ed.
    Each school gets 2MB/s both ways. The backhaul link has 54MB/s capacity.
    Pt to pt links run at 5.8 M Hz and the rest at 2.4 MHz
    The school on Manono is 14 km from the mountain.

    After Derek left Samoa, we connected the school and made the first VOIP call from Manono. It was pointed out that we have the westerm most broadband link in the whole world.

    I am hapy to provide more dteails if anyone is interested.

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