HISPASAT, the Spanish satellite and telecommunications operator, joined forces with Quantis, satellite subsidiary of the Eurona Group, and Nexmachina, an equipment distributor, to install four open WiFi points via satellite in the town of As Neves, Pontevedra, with the aim to provide emergency connectivity to the town’s residents whose means of communication have been severed following the recent forest fires that swept Galicia in October. Following the failure of fixed and mobile communications, currently, only Internet access and telephone services have been restored, and it is estimated that land-based infrastructure will not be recovered for another month or two.
During this time, three technology companies will provide a basic connectivity service with voice over IP, instant messaging and navigation without multimedia content services, which Quantis will manage with the capacity of the Hispasat 30W-5 satellite and with equipment provided by Hispasat and Nexmachina. The four installed WiFi points, installed in As Neves urban centre, have a capacity of 25 Mbps and will allow approximately 300 people to connect simultaneously, such that they will have an emergency solution for their primary communication needs. The service was activated today.
In catastrophic situations such as that in this area of Galicia, satellite technology is a key instrument for offering connectivity solutions, helping emergency teams and helping re-establish communications, since it allows for quick deployment, it is independent of land-based infrastructure and it is not affected by forest fires or other natural disasters.
“At HISPASAT, we are fully committed to the role that satellites play in catastrophic situations like the one experienced in As Neves”, stated Carlos Espinós, CEO of the operator. “Nowadays, communications are essential to carry out any activity and, with this aid, we would like to contribute to providing the residents of this town with access to basic services while they return to normalcy as soon as possible”.
In September, HISPASAT also granted satellite capacity in the Caribbean to reinforce the local relief efforts carried out in Saint Martin, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos Islands following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.