Viasat aids critical communications effort in Puerto Rico

Critical communications equipment supported by ViaSat is enabling coordination of repair and support missions in Puerto Rico following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

With the recent devastation of the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, agencies are moving swiftly to establish communications, restore infrastructure and bring aid to the people of Puerto Rico. Communications is critical in coordinating aid, supplies and assisting with family welfare checks throughout the island.

Viasat’s Mobile Satellite Services over Ligado Network’s SkyTerra 1 satellite are providing critical communications services to partners and teams deployed in Puerto Rico.

Steve Hailey of Primus Electronics and David Craig from Focused Mission have been working in Puerto Rico to support the communications efforts of multiple relief agencies. By leveraging Cobham’s EXPLORER MSAT-G3 Push-to-Talk solution, they are able to provide critical communications for coordination of repair and support missions in order to restore satellite and telecommunications infrastructure equipment of partners and government agencies across the island.

“We are using EXPLORER MSAT-G3 exclusively to communicate on our missions in Puerto Rico to repair communications infrastructure,” said Steve Hailey of Primus. “In most cases, it is the only communications solution available that works island-wide and back to the mainland.”

“Our EXPLORER MSAT-G3 units give us the ability to coordinate our response and provide a safety net for our teams as they respond to areas with little or no communications,” said David Craig of Focused Mission. “This is their proven communications link between team members and our support center back in Orlando, FL. The teams are also equipped with an EXPLORER MSAT-G3 unit and are available to us 24/7 for support and part ordering. This is the only solution that can provide this level of communications for our response requirements.”

In addition, Primus and Focused Mission are leveraging radio extenders, allowing the team to communicate via Radio-over-IP-over-Satellite when operating outside and away from their vehicles. This extends the range of the EXPLORER MSAT-G3 unit from the vehicle using handheld radios. “From a safety perspective, this is important,” said Joseph Sheppard, Safety Officer for Focused Mission. “This means our team is always in communications with us no matter what they are doing. They can call for help and support while on a rooftop or inside a building while troubleshooting equipment. We could not do that with any other solution.”

“Viasat, Ligado, and Cobham are providing a critical capability that is rugged, easy to use and reliable” said Mike Zeman, Team Member for Focused Mission “The EXPLORER MSAT-G3 has become a lifeline for our success in Puerto Rico. When we are asked how are we able to communicate across the island no matter where we are, we tell them it’s because we have the EXPLORER MSAT-G3.”