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Spotlight: Hurricane Charley Draws Fast Response

By | August 23, 2004

      The estimated $10 billion-plus in damages caused by Hurricane Charley in Florida a little more than a week ago allowed Hauppauge, N.Y.-based Globecomm Systems Inc. [GCOM] to showcase the critical backup satellite connectivity services the company offers. Globecomm specifically assisted with recovery efforts in the state by restoring connectivity to call centers that had been disrupted by the ferocious storm and the widespread destruction that the natural disaster left behind. Globecomm provided a portable communications facility that was connected via satellite back to the company’s international teleport on Long Island in New York City.

      The company offers a recovery system that restores voice, data and Internet services in times of disaster, providing a network that supports 50 phone lines and 1.5Mbs of Internet connectivity. The company works with a partner, Agility Recovery Solutions, to support several clients in Florida.

      As demonstrated in Florida, Globecomm’s service can restore a call center and a local government’s communications lines as well as setting up a hotline and a mini-headquarters, said Keith Hall, Globecomm’s vice president of network services, during an exclusive interview with Satellite News’ Senior Editor and Senior Analyst Paul Dykewicz.

      “It also is mobile and could be set up anywhere in the United States within 24 hours,” Hall said. The satellite-based communications recovery service thus far has attracted a core client base among businesses but company officials are looking to pursue the government market aggressively, he added.

      “We operate an Automated Call Distribution (ACD) package that handles all incoming calls,” Hall said. “It can be customized for each client to provide a personal greeting. In times of disaster, the message can be changed to update users about whatever emergency condition is occurring.”

      The capability supports content-delivery services, including business television, and remote operation and maintenance to such Fortune 500 companies as Home Depot [HD] and Bank of America [BAC], Hall said, along with smaller, privately owned businesses. Currently, Globecomm is providing voice services to the Iraqi Telephone and Post Co. That arrangement established Globecomm as an international voice carrier in Iraq beginning last March under a one-year contract with the country’s provisional government.

      The East Coast blackout on Aug. 14, 2003, offered another opportunity for satellite technology to come to the rescue when terrestrial services failed, Hall said.

      (Keith Hall, Globecomm Systems, 631/457-1149)

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