Six satellites launched into space to connect some of the world’s most remote schools to broadband-access Internet

The State Committee of Information Technologies and Communications and Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic partner with UNICEF and OneWeb to connect one of the most remote schools in the country to Internet in 2020

28 February 2019
Map
UNICEF/Kyrgyzstan

LONDON/BISHKEK, 28 February 2019 – OneWeb has sent its six satellites into low earth orbit to connect six schools in some of the most remote and hard to reach areas in the world to broadband Internet. The satellites were launched from cosmodrome Kourou in French Guiana to connect students studying in Ecuador, Rwanda, Nepal, Honduras, Alaska (USA) and Kyrgyzstan.

In the Kyrgyz Republic, the State Committee of Information Technologies and Communications (ICT) and the Ministry of Education and Science partnered with UNICEF and OneWeb to connect the Kyzyl October school in the mountain-locked Kotur-Suu village in Naryn oblast to the broadband Internet in 2020.

The school was selected through UNICEF’s Project Connect, which helped build a school connectivity map with real-time data displaying the Internet connectivity for nearly every school in the country. The real-time mapping helped the Government increase Internet connectivity coverage to 86 per cent of all schools in the country - 1857 out of the total 2137 schools.

Due to their very remote location, 5 per cent of schools in the Kyrgyz Republic cannot connect to the Internet using existing technologies. The Kyzyl October school is one of those and is considered one of the most difficult to reach.

“The geographical location of schools directly affects how children receive information in hard-to-reach regions of the Kyrgyz Republic. The school connectivity map helped to give a realistic assessment of the situation and mobilize the necessary resources to ensure that all children have access to online learning opportunities regardless of their location and status,” said Yukie Mokuo, Representative of UNICEF in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Children who cannot connect to the Internet may experience disadvantages in learning, communication and exploring new opportunities through technology, when compared to children that do have access.

 “OneWeb’s mission to eliminate digital disruption via global provision of affordable and quality internet access as well providing internet access to remote schools is also one of the main tasks of the State Committee for Information Technologies and Communications and “Digital CASA – Kyrgyz Republic” project, as well the Concept of digital transformation “Sanarip Kyrgyzstan 2019-2023”, Mr. Eshmambet Amatov, Deputy of the Chairperson of the State Committee of Information Technologies and Communications has noted.

According to Mr. Amatov, affordable and quality internet connectivity can result in access to education, healthcare, business opportunities, and, as a result is a pathway to economic growth, and new jobs via opportunities in the global marketplace.”

 

Media Contacts

Mavliuda Dzhaparova

Communication Officer

UNICEF Kyrgyzstan

Tel: +996 777 919 142

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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About Project Connect

UNICEF’s Project Connect collects data from private and government sources to map out internet connectivity of schools. This mapping initiative uses data science and machine learning as an advocacy tool to inform, equip and enable authorities to bridge the global data divide. Every child in every school should have to access to quality information that will lead to equal access to opportunity and learning.

Find out more at www.projectconnect.world

About OneWeb

OneWeb's mission is to enable Internet access for everyone, everywhere. OneWeb is building a communications network with a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide connectivity to billions of people around the world.

Find out more at http://www.oneweb.net/

About the State Committee on Information Technologies and Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic

The Committee was formed in accordance with the Resolution of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic “On the Structure of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic” dated April 13, 2016, No. 439-VI. The State Committee for Information Technologies and Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic is a state executive body that implements state policy and carries out intersectoral coordination in the field of informatization, e-government, e-government, e-services, electrical and postal communication, including radio and television broadcasting.

The Committee is directly involved in solving the tasks of developing electric and postal communication networks, satellite communication systems, television broadcasting and broadcasting systems, the implementation of which allows achieving high development rates of the infocommunicaitons community in Kyrgyz Republic.