Company’s mission to extend internet service options to underserved rural Brazil draws employees
Keeping pace with its expanding service offerings in Brazil, Viasat recently opened a second office and is growing its staff in the country.
The newest office is in the capital city of Brasilia, home of Viasat’s Brazilian partner Telebras. Viasat also relocated its original São Paulo office to a bigger space in the commercial and financial heart of the city.
“Opening a second office in Brasilia is important to us,” said Lisa Scalpone, Vice President and General Manager for Viasat Brazil. “São Paulo is a tremendous talent pool and the economic hub of the country – and a great city. It makes a lot of sense for us to have a larger office there.”
As Viasat continues to hire in Brazil, having multiple offices is key, Scalpone said.
“With an office in Brasilia, we’ll have a regular local presence to help support Telebras, but also any other government initiatives. The combination gives us flexibility as we hire; we can open a job in either city, giving us access to a broader set of candidates.”
Viasat has seen high interest in its job postings.
“We’re on a mission to do good things in Brazil,” Scalpone said. “This is a uniting theme for the team and we feel it’s also the reason why we see candidates coming to us. When we interview candidates for our open positions in Brazil, people tell us, ‘We see that this is for the good of Brazil and we want to be a part of it.’
“It’s tremendously rewarding, both on a macro level in being a part of connecting Brazil, and on a day-to-day level building the team.”
Satellite internet advantage
About 20 percent of Brazilians (about 18 million) live in the country’s rural and remote areas, places well-suited to satellite internet.
In its partnership with Telebras, the country’s state-owned telecommunications company, Viasat has so far connected more than two million students whose schools previously had either no internet or substandard internet service.
As Viasat winds up the installation, the final sites are especially challenging to complete. Because of their remote locations, those installations take significant planning.
“Many require boat trips longer than a week to reach,” Scalpone said.
Millions of Brazilian children live in such rural or remote areas – many in the Amazon – where getting to school by boat or walking is common.
To help navigate those areas, Viasat is working with Brazilian companies including Visiontec and Ruralweb who know the topography well.
“Brazil is a land blessed with natural beauty, great weather, and the warmth of its culture; what’s not to love?” Scalpone said. “We believe Brazil can benefit greatly from our service. And we see a long future here. There are many more lines of business we hope to offer, not just residential and business, but also Community Wi-Fi and in-flight Wi-Fi, to name a few. We think there is a market for a very broad set of services.”
Viasat plans to launch its retail residential and small-business service offerings in Brazil in the coming months, and has already launched service through a wholesale distribution channel.
While Viasat has so far largely been working in partnerships with others in Brazil, Scalpone said the upcoming retail launch will be under the Viasat name.
“We’re excited to have people in Brazil get more familiar with the Viasat brand,” Scalpone said.