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Hughes Network Systems, LLC
11717 Exploration Lane
Germantown, MD 20876 USA
Weeks after Superstorm Sandy pummeled the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S., many thousands of people and businesses were still without power—recovering and rebuilding from flooding, fires, and downed trees. And so were terrestrial network providers, with many base stations, towers, and switching centers knocked out in the wake of the storm.
Conversely, satellite networks withstood the disaster well, with limited or no reported disruption to service. As the largest satellite network provider in the U.S.—with a combined subscriber base of over 800,000 businesses and consumers across the country—Hughes played a vital role in keeping emergency responders, businesses, and people connected during the storm and in its aftermath. Because satellite provides an alternate and robust communications path less susceptible to land-based disruptions, it is ideal for either primary communications or as a backup system to complement terrestrial services. With nationwide reach, Hughes satellite broadband solutions can keep organizations and people connected regardless of location or terrain, even when disaster strikes.
Hughes customers across the devastated region include thousands of gas stations, banks, restaurants, pharmacies, and hotels—many of the service organizations that are urgently needed in the aftermath of a disaster. By virtue of being able to monitor all these locations, identify those with power, and deliver other critical site-related information, Hughes provided a valuable service to the All Hazards Consortium (AHC), a not-for-profit organization focused on homeland security, emergency management, and business continuity. Working closely with Hughes, AHC helped to quickly disseminate information to responders and mobilize recovery efforts.
Round-the-clock network monitoring of its managed service customers provides Hughes with connectivity and network traffic information that offers a good indicator of which businesses are likely to be open. Initially providing connectivity information about customer locations in hard-hit New Jersey and New York, Hughes went on to expand the reports to include customer sites in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, enabling the AHC to quickly share this information with emergency managers, first responders, and utility crews. The New Jersey Governor’s office expressed its appreciation for this assistance, indicating that it was especially valuable in the early days of the response effort.
“The work of emergency officials and utility crews after this disaster is truly heroic, and Hughes is proud to provide whatever assistance we can to help them in their efforts, so citizens needing aid can get it as quickly as possible,” said Tony Bardo, assistant vice president of Government Solutions at Hughes.
Indeed, although chaos after a disaster may be inevitable, getting critical information out quickly is one contribution of today’s technology that can help bring relief to the people who need it most.
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