Hughes Network Systems, LLC, the global enabler of broadband satellite networks and services, has unveiled the emergency satellite communications (SATCOM) terminals for first response organizations and businesses during the highly active hurricane season.
Operating over its high-throughput Ka-band satellites (HTS), EchoStar XVII and EchoStar XIX, Hughes delivers reliable and efficient emergency response communications with 25 Mbps download speeds from coast to coast across America.
Recently, Hurricane Harvey disrupted at least 17 Texas-area emergency call centers and 320 cellular sites that led to outages for more than 148,000 Internet, TV, and phone customers. Adding to the catastrophic damage in the southeastern U.S., Harvey was followed by Hurricane Irma, which took aim at the Caribbean Islands and Florida. According to the FCC, Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on local telecom infrastructure, downing eighty-two percent of cell sites in the Keys and throughout Monroe County. In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Hughes deployed ground systems at the request of response organizations to support recovery efforts and expects more units to be deployed in the coming weeks.
“When hurricanes hit, gale force winds and flash flooding can devastate terrestrial networks, whether cable, fiber or cellular,” said Tony Bardo, assistant vice president of Government Solutions at Hughes. “Satellite communications operate far above the disruption and are critical to coordinate decision-making among responders and to keep the public informed. Our solutions enable mobile connectivity for real-time situational awareness, backhaul for portable cellular service, and fixed broadband service for recovery and command centers.”
Hughes employs its nationwide satellite network and brings decades of operational experience to help response efforts through its reliable emergency broadband solutions for businesses and agencies, including:
•Back-up Connectivity: Satellite backup from Hughes offers a higher level of resiliency for any mission-critical network, including 9-1-1 and NG 9-1-1 networks. VSAT backup is independent from local terrestrial infrastructure and keeps network applications running during and after a disaster with flexible and scalable service offerings.
•Deployable Field Communications: Hughes offers several mobile and portable emergency communications solutions to the first responder community, including fly-away and manpack terminals, vehicle-mounted terminals, and auto-deployable systems.
•Cell-on-Wheels: Hughes partners with cellular providers to deliver localized LTE coverage with a Cell-on-Wheels unit consisting of an auto-deployable VSAT and LTE mast that can be hitched to a vehicle. This solution is ideal for responders that need to leverage mobile devices in the field where local infrastructure has been damaged or knocked out when disaster hits.
As yet another major Atlantic storm, Hurricane Maria, approaches, Hughes has leveraged its experience supporting emergency management teams and government agencies to develop a short list of basic steps to help government agencies and businesses prepare for operations during and after a hurricane.