Approximately 5,000 U.S. Postal Services locations will be provided point-to-point satellite communications under a $25 million contract that has been awarded to Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications, and Spacenet Inc.
The contract, known as ORB-IT (Outerspace Radio Broadcast Information Technology) is initially for a 2-year term and could be extended to a total of 8 years under three 2-year extension options. Under the contract award Verizon and Spacenet will offer the USPS locations 24x7 broadband satellite data services and on-demand connectivity, using technology that is known as VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal). Spacenet specializes in managed wireless VSAT and hybrid terrestrial networks for business and government users worldwide, plus satellite broadband Internet services for home and small offices across the U.S.
The satellite network will reportedly support an array of applications, including a video relay service for postal workers who are hearing impaired or deaf; voice-over-IP telephone service; multi-cast content delivery; real-time video broadcasting; and point-of-sale (POS) transactions. The network will also support up to 20 mobile satellite communications kits for emergency use in USPS vehicles.
Spacenet indicated that the sites are expected to be operational by this fall.
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