Many factors go into creating KVH’s global mini-VSAT Broadband HTS network, which provides connectivity for vessels and yachts around the world, but a recent event highlighted the importance of the network’s layered design. Last week, KVH’s HTS network partner, Intelsat, announced a service outage on the Intelsat 29e (IS-29e) satellite after the satellite experienced damage and a propellant leak that resulted in a service disruption to customers on IS-29e. This outage affected Intelsat’s maritime, aeronautical, and wireless operator customers in the Latin America, Caribbean, and North Atlantic regions.
Fortunately, KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband HTS service is a layered network, which enabled the company to respond to the satellite outage swiftly.
“Our network is designed to offer robust, redundant communications with as many as three satellites supporting each region,” says Rick Driscoll, KVH’s vice president of service development and implementation. “As a result, virtually all of our customers who had been connected via IS-29e switched over to an alternate satellite in our network, ensuring continuity of VSAT connectivity. With additional satellite capacity, these customers soon saw average speeds and connectivity similar to what they received prior to the service outage.”
An additional factor in KVH’s fast response is the fact that the company also designs and manufactures the onboard TracPhone® HTS-series satellite antenna hardware that transmits and receives data via the mini-VSAT Broadband HTS network. This end-to-end solution meant that KVH was able to send updates of new coverage maps via an out-of-band support channel, ensuring that the onboard antennas could find and track the new satellite beams.
At KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband Network Ops Center, in Middletown, RI, technicians are continuing to actively monitor all the satellites that have been added to the pool of network bandwidth to optimize performance and connectivity. This monitoring is part of the ongoing, around-the-clock, normal operations of KVH’s network team.