Many government agencies in the U.S. serve their constituencies directly by delivering benefits, providing health care, or enforcing laws. Others do so indirectly by conducting research, maintaining public infrastructure, and protecting our homeland. To accomplish their missions, agency personnel must stay trained. They must respond to emergencies. They must inform the public. This means they need to stay connected, no matter where they are, no matter what the circumstances.
Far-Flung, Multiple Locations
Many government agencies have locations all over the country, including small offices in remote locations. With the growing use of high-bandwidth applications, agencies are recognizing the need to provide broadband connections to all locations— even those in remote areas.
HughesNet™ Optimized Network Service, a managed service that optimizes the network based on cost, technology, or performance, offers an effective solution to this challenge for government agencies. Hughes recently signed a contract with a large federal agency that will connect up to 2,300 sites with satellite broadband services. Hughes is also working with a state agency to implement a network that will establish broadband Internet service for public use at interstate highway rest stops.
In Case of Emergency
When emergencies occur, the public needs its government to continue to function and to provide recovery services. This is called continuity of operations (COOP). While most agencies use single-carrier legacy networks, others have deployed dual-carrier networks for redundancy. But, as seen in recent disasters, dual terrestrial networks do not provide adequate redundancy and resiliency. On September 11, 2001 and during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for example, terrestrial communications were crippled for days and weeks, severely impeding the ability of first responders to rescue citizens and provide emergency care. Even cellular capabilities were severely disrupted.
Establishing redundant networks operated by different vendors is a step in the right direction. But it’s not enough. To ensure the most robust and resilient networks, and thereby to ensure COOP, government agencies need to follow a strategy using diverse communications technologies and paths at every network location.
HughesNet High Availability Network service and Access Continuity service are designed with this strategy in mind. With both satellite and terrestrial technologies operational at each network node, automatic switch-over of critical agency applications to the alternate-path network ensures COOP under virtually any failure scenario.
The Growing Telework Population
Teleworking is a growing initiative in the government workplace that not only relieves road congestion and recaptures lost productivity, but also maximizes worker accessibility in the event of an emergency, further enabling COOP.
HughesNet Teleworker service is a special case of the High Availability Network offering, giving agencies a standardized platform that delivers highly resilient broadband access to all teleworkers, regardless of location.
Making It Easy
Hughes provides a full range of services on the GSA Schedule to enable federal, state, and local agencies to acquire products and services quickly. Hughes is establishing its product line on other contract vehicles and working with small, minority-owned, and disadvantaged businesses to further facilitate the government’s ability to obtain services. The company has also formed relationships with government resellers and systems integrators to better support this important market.
“Hughes is committed to the government market,” said Tony Bardo, assistant vice president for Hughes Government Solutions. “HughesNet managed services have been specifically designed to satisfy the critical communications requirements of federal, state, and local governments—and delivered by one of the world’s leading providers of managed network services.”