Why leveraging VSAT Internet for Emergency Response Communications Makes Sense

This article examines why it makes sense to incorporate VSAT internet into emergency response communications systems. It seeks to identify the common challenges First Responders face when deploying emergency response communications and how VSAT internet fills those gaps.

Common Challenges Facing First Responders

First Responders have some of the toughest jobs around. They are the first line of defense for our communities and our nation. This makes for stressful jobs that require the highest level of performance. Plus, they need the ability to respond to emergencies quickly and without disruption.

While First Responders need to be ready for anything, the last thing they should worry about is their communication systems working. As with all things, technology-based communications can have its challenges.

These challenges include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of LTE Signal
  • Slow internet connection due to high demand
  • Rugged or remote terrain with no terrestrial (land-based) signal at all
  • Short term expensive communications plans that expire to incur hefty overages
First Responders in Remote Location Need VSAT Internet

It’s important to address these challenges because they can directly impact the responsiveness of First Responder teams.

For some first-hand insight, we talked with Jerry Creekbaum, CTO for Expedition Communications. We asked him, what is one of the most common complaints he hears from your First Responder clients. Here is what he had to say on this matter.

“More often than not, our emergency response type clients tell us that they’re challenged with their LTE systems because they are often responding to remote locations and numerous challenges tend to arise”.

The key takeaway in this is that First Responders need to be focused on responding to the situation at hand. They should not worry about paperwork, finding a strong signal spot to stand in to talk to their teams, or  worry if their team is trained properly on a communications system.

VSAT Internet Provides Flexible Solutions

First Responder Priority VSAT internet combined with Rapid Deployable Satellite systems offer First Responders greater flexibility in their emergency response communications.

This is because First Responder Priority internet plans directly address the challenges mentioned in the above section. Furthermore, system designs are customized to the unique needs of each team.

  • VSAT internet and Deployable Satellite Systems can easily operate in areas where there is congested or no LTE coverage and they makes reliable communications possible in the most remote areas.
  • VSAT systems can even be designed to work with LTE as a primary connection source with automatic failover to satellite as a backup, providing the highest level of business continuity.
  • The First Responder Priority plans on the market today receive special data prioritization above residential, business, and aeronautical/maritime internet traffic. This means that even if there is high demand during an emergency, First Responders can rest assured that they will have high-speed access to the internet and WiFi calling.
  • And most importantly, the internet plans for First Responders come with guaranteed account deactivation protection. This means that even if a team has gone past their plan’s data limit or expiration date and hasn’t yet finalized a renewal, the plan will not be deactivated while in use.
Understanding Why Flexibility and Priority Should Matter

To understand why flexibility, high data prioritization, and deployable systems are important, think about this – If the Red Cross responds to a natural disaster and brings in 300 volunteers to help, how will they communicate with each other if power is lost and cellular hasn’t been restored?

A solution could be, the Red Cross brings in a fully self-contained POD satellite system. A system like this provides high-speed satellite internet with either a cellular bubble or WiFi calling for crews to communicate. A POD can be designed with a closed network to protect bandwidth for specified teams and can integrate with many different types of networks. This is just one possible solution that would allow First Responders to mobilize quickly and ensure reliable communications during an emergency response.

In conclusion, if teams are looking for both high levels of flexibility and business continuity in their communication systems, explore the options available using VSAT internet and Rapid Deployable Satellite systems. You might be surprised by how easy and convenient it can make communications.