SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch 4.30.23: Courtesy of Kennedy Space Center



May 1, 2023

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA -- Pacific Dataport has successfully launched their first purpose-built satellite named “Aurora 4A”. Aurora 4A was launched on the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, from pad 39-A on Sunday, April 30, 2023 at 4:26pm AK.

  • This satellite launch is five years in the making
  • This is the first micro-GEO HTS satellite ever launched into space
  • Aurora 4A will cover Alaska with affordable broadband

Pacific Dataport was started to solve one problem - the lack of satellite backhaul capacity in rural Alaska. Often, customers who wanted broadband in remote areas were unable to purchase it. This new option allows customers to visit providers like Microcom in Anchorage and purchase Aurora Broadband, a very competitive and affordable broadband option. Chuck Schumann, CEO of Pacific Dataport, said "The successful launch of Aurora 4A puts Pacific Dataport firmly in Alaska's telecom market. Local providers have access to affordable broadband and cellular backhaul to every village right now. This means immediate connectivity without waiting years for fiber to arrive."

Aurora 4A provides ubiquitous, statewide middle mile coverage. This new middle mile option will allow all NTIA BEAD and TBC fiber buildout award recipients to build out their last mile first and use satellite middle mile to get communities connected immediately. When the subsea or terrestrial middle mile to the community is completed years later, the satellite middle mile can be used as a backup middle mile source. This method ensures every Alaska Native community gets connected with affordable broadband quickly without waiting years and provides communities with a resilient broadband network.

Aurora 4A follows Aurora 1, which was launched more than 56 years ago and was the first satellite purpose-built exclusively for Alaska. Aurora 4A utilizes the most advanced technology, such as on-board processing and physically smaller sizing. Aurora 4A is also operating with “high-throughput” (HTS) capabilities which allows much more data capacity than older satellites. Aurora 4A transmits both broadband and cellular backhaul data. Commercial service is expected on or before August 1, 2023.


Pacific Dataport's Mission:

Affordable, High-Quality Broadband for All Alaskans


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About Pacific Dataport Inc. – Pacific Dataport Inc. (PDI) is a satellite middle mile provider headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska. PDI was founded “by Alaskans, for Alaskans” to enable Internet access for everyone, everywhere in Alaska. PDI is focused on providing affordable middle mile and last mile broadband using the newest satellite technology from the Aurora (GEO HTS) and OneWeb (LEO) Networks. PDI clients include telecoms (wired & wireless), non-profits, hospitals, health clinics, schools, libraries, governments (Tribal, local, state & federal) and Alaska Native Corporations, Villages, Tribes, and tribal broadband consortiums.

About Microcom – Microcom is a direct-to-consumer broadband provider located in Anchorage, Alaska. Microcom also offers the design, sales, installation and maintenance of Cambium 2.5 GHz and unlicensed WISP (wireless internet service provider) systems throughout Alaska. These systems work best in remote Alaska where a Tribal organization is bringing broadband to their community. Microcom services include feasibility studies, engineering, system design, equipment procurement, installation, network operation and management, billing and customer support, and backhaul/Internet capacity. Serving all of Alaska for nearly 40 years, Microcom is fully staffed with technicians across the state.

Please contact Shawn Williams for more information:


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