SATCOM Helping Filipinos in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan

Image — Near airport in Guiuan, Philippines, GATR and Cisco Systems, TACOPS supplied satellite communications and networking equipment, to support the relief efforts underway

Earlier this month one of the largest storms ever to reach landfall devastated large swaths of the Philippines. Four provinces and almost 600 municipalities were affected, killing thousands and displacing over four million Filipinos. Relief operations have been hampered by the lack of terrestrial communications infrastructure in the wake of the disaster.

Intelsat General Corp. (IGC) is stepping in and providing much needed communications by donating satellite bandwidth and associated terrestrial connectivity to support two field antennas set up in the Philippines by a team of ground service providers supporting humanitarian disaster relief.

IGC will provide bandwidth on the Intelsat-19 satellite into its Napa teleport and repoint a Ku-band beam on the company’s IS-8 satellite toward the Philippines. The latter will provide an uplink via the IntelsatOne_ terrestrial network from the Kumsan, South Korea teleport and downlink in the Philippines. The same satellite and ground network will support satellite news gathering operations in the devastated region.

GATR Technologies is providing inflatable satellite terminals and support personnel in the hard-hit city of Tacloban and at Guiuan. They will support telecommunications teams dispatched there by Cisco Systems Tactical Operations (TACOPS) and the non-profit Global Disaster Immediate Response Team (Global DIRT).

“The GATR terminal with Intelsat General bandwidth is providing connectivity for our team, the hospital, at least 4 NGOs and the air operations coordinated out of the hospital we’re based out of,” said Adam Marlatt, President of Global DIRT. “The donated bandwidth is speeding up aid drops because groups like ours are able to send and receive needs assessments live as they come up. We’ve also been able to track our cargo operations (air land and sea) and communicate through the VoIP phones to our US based logisticians.”

Global DIRT is coordinating the effort through NetHope and the Philippines government with their own GATR terminal.

“The world is only beginning to comprehend the horrible devastation created as the typhoon blew over these heavily-populated islands,” said Kay Sears, President of Intelsat General. “We and others in the satellite industry will do all we can to provide the communications needed by governments and agencies to fully respond to this disaster.”

For more information, click here for our press release regarding this humanitarian donation and partnership.

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