BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Verizon Business will provide a new custom satellite network to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), enabling it to reliably and cost-effectively deliver voice and high-speed data to areas where wireline or wireless access is unavailable or too costly.
The network, formally known as a VSAT (very small aperture terminal) satellite system, will provide point-to-point communications for about 5,000 Postal Service sites in the continental United States, Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico, and backup connectivity for a number of larger USPS sites. In addition, Verizon Business will provide more than 20 mobile satellite communications kits for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service's incident response vehicles. Verizon Business is providing the service in conjunction with Spacenet, a satellite network services company.
Verizon Business is deploying the Postal Service's satellite network under a new two-year contract valued at $25 million and known as ORB-IT (outerspace radio broadcast information technology). The contract also has an option for three two-year extensions.
"Verizon Business continues to work with the Postal Service to provide communications and network services to help it move the mail and process packages more efficiently and cost effectively," said Susan Zeleniak, vice president for Verizon Federal, an organization within Verizon Business dedicated to serving federal government customers. "Verizon Business has earned its position as one of the top communications providers to the federal government by working closely with government agencies to plan and execute effective strategies to help keep their operations running smoothly in the face of changing conditions - either manmade or natural."
Verizon Business and Spacenet will provide both full-time broadband satellite data services as well as on-demand connectivity for on-the-go communications. The network will provide high-performance converged communications capabilities including simultaneous support for high-quality voice, video and broadband data.
The network will support a wide range of customer applications including video relay service (VRS) for deaf and hard-of-hearing USPS employees, multicast file delivery, real-time video broadcasting, routine data transport, and voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) services. This new satellite network will provide primary connectivity for smaller, more rural USPS facilities that have a limited support staff. As the Postal Services rolls out new applications -- and eventually point-of-sale (POS) terminals in areas where POS is not currently available -- the new VSAT service can easily scale to meet the demands for more bandwidth.
In addition, the VSAT service will support the Postal Service demands for continuity of operations by regionally pre-positioning emergency mobile VSAT kits intended for rapid deployment to USPS facilities should they lose terrestrial voice and data service because of natural or manmade disasters.
Installation of the sites is under way, and all sites are expected to be operational by later this fall.
Spacenet President and Chief Operating Officer Glenn Katz said: "Spacenet is very pleased to be working with Verizon Business, complementing their core competencies with our VSAT expertise. The services we are providing are proof of the important role that VSAT can play in hybrid terrestrial-satellite communications networks and how these technologies can be brought together to deliver cost-effective and innovative solutions for primary and continuity of operations connectivity."
Verizon Business has a long-standing relationship with the USPS. Through the Managed Network Services (MNS) contract awarded in 1997, the company established one of the world's largest private networks for the Postal Service. This state-of-the-art network - which Verizon Business manages round-the-clock, 365 days a year -- supports many aspects of the USPS, from operations to administration.
In 2005, when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast, Verizon Business (as the former MCI) supported relief agencies and the general public, using satellite technology to connect to the company's global network. The company provided emergency communications capability for portable trailers dispatched by the Postal Service to affected areas. The company also worked with the USPS to set up temporary facilities to support voice and data traffic that serviced customers in hurricane-impacted locations on the Gulf Coast.
Verizon Business, the largest provider of communications services to the U.S. federal government, serves virtually every federal agency. Verizon Business is one of the largest providers of advanced data, Internet and voice communications services globally. Verizon Business offers local-to-global-to-local network capabilities coupled with a broad range of telecommunications products and services, including managed network services and systems integration, to all levels of government. With this broad portfolio of services, Verizon Business can provide federal agencies with one-stop shopping for their communications or connectivity needs. The company has built the next-generation services that are helping to transform the way government customers -- and their constituents -- do business.
Founded in 1981, Spacenet Inc. is a leading provider of high-performance satellite and hybrid terrestrial networking solutions for business, government and home/small office customers in the United States and worldwide. Spacenet has a longstanding tradition of industry leadership and innovation, and has deployed more than 100,000 network endpoints for customers including many Fortune 500 companies and major government agencies. Spacenet's services include its custom satellite/hybrid network solutions for enterprise and government; Connexstar TM VSAT services for primary, backup and disaster recovery networks; and StarBand(r) broadband Internet by satellite. Spacenet is based in McLean, Virginia, and operates its own end-to-end services infrastructure including network management, field services and teleport facilities in McLean; Atlanta, Georgia; and Chicago, Illinois. Spacenet is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (Nasdaq: GILT). Visit Spacenet at www.spacenet.com.
About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large business and government customers worldwide. Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced communications, security and other professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world. For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.