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ASTCA reports a 1st Quarter loss, but continues to be upbeat in its ‘status’ plan

Members of the Board of Directors for the ASTCA

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA) is reporting “a positive trajectory in all aspects of the operating activities for FY 2021” — despite reporting a loss of more than a $1 million in its 1st Quarter Budget Performance Report.

Its Status and Strategic Plan 2021-2023 report was presented to the House Communications Committee last week which showed the loss but focused more on the positive aspects of its operations. It was prepared by both staff and the Board of Directors of the authority.


The report states that in April of this year there is an indication in its preliminary 3rd Quarter Report for FY-2021 that a positive direction in its finances has been achieved in its current operations.

The report revealed that:

Revenues of $17.3 mil — is up from $15.5 mil in 2020

Expenses  — Operating of $15.6 mil down from $16.9 mil in 2020

Income — Operating of $1.7 mil up from a loss of $1.2 mil in 2020

The report noted that “controls in expenditure are in place for projects producing a high return on revenues and we have a positive trajectory in all aspects of the operating activities for FY2021.”

In its’ Loan report section, the report indicates that in Feb. 2021, its’ debts stood at $50,900,000 and stated that “ASTCA is capable of paying the current debt obligations.”

The following is the breakdown of debt:

     •     ASGERF            $9,606,000

     •     Rural Utility Services:        $4,137,000

     •     ASEDA/ ASG:             $37,157,000    

Part of the positive aspects highlighted by the report are listed under ‘Twelve Key Priorities and Strategies’ and among them is that ASTCA hopes to secure a 5G Spectrum by October this year, which is related to its plans to expand its wireless services into 5G utilizing the Federal Communications Commission Wireless Fund.

Listed under Status and Strategic Plan in the report, ASTCA says “this service will improve the lives of our community by providing much needed access to telehealth telework, remote learning opportunities, precision agriculture and other services and with applications to the Manu’a islands.”

It adds that the deployment of 5G capable networks will drive job creation and boost the local economy. In addition the framework for the 5G Fund will bring technological innovation and economic benefits for the territory.

Other benefits of 5G, the report says, is that it will enable ASTCA to build out virtual networks for government and private sector for security and for specific requirements of agencies and departments such as metering for the American Samoa Power Authority’s database, access for LBJ Hospital and Department of Health and GIS maps for the Dept of Public Safety.

It further notes that there is another FCC Fund that ASTCA has set its sights on receiving — the Health Connect Fund. It’s a program, which provides support for high capacity broadband connectivity to eligible health care providers.

ASTCA says health care providers can use this fund to purchase services and equipment to build their own broadband infrastructure. It’s prepared to partner with LBJ Hospital, Dept of Health and Medicaid Office and other health care providers to exploit this funding for telehealth services including the tracking of patients in the Manu’a islands.

Of note: Another priority in the report is the Hawaiki Cable Redundancy and Monetization effort.

The report states that the Redundancy Cable Design for Hawaiki Cable is undergoing review with the cost options. The redundancy calls for a submarine cable between American Samoa and Guam.