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Ref: New mobile command communications centers for hurricane season

Earthtimes

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PacStar and Spacenet Collaborate to Provide Portable Communications Command Center


WASHINGTON and PORTLAND, Ore., June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- In time for the start of the 2007 hurricane season, PacStar and Spacenet Inc. are working together to create the Emergency Preparedness Integrated Communications (EPIC) system, a mobile emergency response solution that quickly restores emergency communications in the event of a disaster. Based on a modified PacStar 5500 connected to a satellite terminal, EPIC provides federal, state and local officials as well as first responders unified communications, data access, streaming video capabilities, plus wireless and satellite connectivity.

The PacStar 5500 delivers private branch exchange (PBX) integration, data and video capabilities in an encrypted environment so first responders and emergency operations can get the entire range of information they need to assess damage and begin recovery efforts.

"This exciting partnership will enable a truly important advancement in emergency preparedness," said Robert Frisbee, CEO of PacStar. "Communications are often among the first systems to go down when a major disaster strikes, resulting in slow response times and an uncoordinated response. Having EPIC at the ready ensures that first responders have access to reliable, easy to use communications, helping to save time and potentially lives."

Spacenet's high performance Connexstar satellite services for converged voice, video and data applications are an ideal complement to the PacStar 5500, providing a wireless network path that completely bypasses the local infrastructure in the case of a disaster. The satellite kit includes a fixed- dish that can be manually configured and an emergency response grade on-demand satellite service.

"PacStar has tremendous expertise in delivering advanced deployable communications," said David Myers, Spacenet Senior Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Development. "Working together, the combined solution of PacStar 5500 networking capabilities and Spacenet's high performance Connexstar services provide emergency responders and government officials with access to reliable satellite broadband communications."

Intended for use in disaster areas and extreme remote locations, the EPIC solution is designed to empower first responders, military troops, or anyone else working in an infrastructure-starved environment to quickly establish or re-establish a multi-faceted communications network. The EPIC solution enables the first responder community to use existing communications hardware (analog and IP phones) to interoperate with each other. This capability creates a seamless communications network onsite with connectivity to the Internet and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) via a single interface.

Unlike other communications solutions that require a six-ton truck and/or military-grade aircraft to transport, the EPIC system can be transported in an SUV, helicopter, or commercial aircraft. Two people can deploy EPIC within one hour, inclusive of the satellite connectivity.

More Work is Needed

Two years ago, the White House issued its official report on the response to Hurricane Katrina. Among the key findings: the lack of deployable, integrated and interoperable communications -- the ability to quickly field working communications that allows emergency and other first responders to talk to one another via radio and other communication systems in real time -- hindered rescue efforts and delayed the deployment of critical materials. In 2004, the 9/11 Commission Report concluded that a similar breakdown in communications occurred hampering response times. Both reports recommended that a system be put in place to ensure reliable communication for first responders and civil authorities.

While strides have been made, recent studies have shown that the recommendations found in the Katrina and 9/11 aftermath reports have yet to be fully implemented.

-- A report published in January 2007 by the Department of Homeland Security stated that progress still needs to be made. -- In answer to a survey question posed by the United States Conference of Mayors, 80 percent of the 183 mayors said that they had not received sufficient federal resources to achieve full communications interoperability to ensure first responders would be able to communicate with state and local officials in the event of an emergency. -- Datamonitor, an independent analytics and forecasting firm reported | that state and local governments will boost their technology investment by 40 percent in the next five years as they struggle to overcome communications problems that stymie coordinated emergency response efforts. How EPIC Works

In the event of an emergency, federal, state and local agencies will be able to call PacStar (888-872-1512) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and order the deployment of the EPIC package. The units will be pre-configured and shipped to the recommended staging area in three days. PacStar service engineers will be deployed along with the equipment to install the PacStar 5500 and Spacenet satellite service, train the responders on-site, and provide any additional support to ensure mission-critical communications are established where needed most.

About PacStar

Pacific Star Communications (PacStar(TM)) is a leading technology-based systems integrator providing total communications solutions that empower military units, federal, state and local government agencies and emergency responders with secure, reliable, interoperable command, control and communications capabilities in remote or infrastructure-starved areas. In addition, PacStar provides a full range of communications solutions to commercial businesses, as well as telecommunications service providers. PacStar's deployable communications solutions include: the PacStar(TM) 5000 series with IQ-Core(TM) software, the PacStar(TM) 3000 series, the customizable PacStar(TM) 2000 series, along with patent-pending software and hardware technology and integration/installation services.

For more information, please visit http://www.pacstar.com/ or call 888-872-1512. About Spacenet(R)

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 today serves 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. . Visit Spacenet at http://www.spacenet.com/.

Press Contact for PacStar: Andrew Miller Zeno Group 707.386.1193 andrew.miller@zenogroup.com PacStar

CONTACT: Andrew Miller of Zeno Group, +1-707-386-1193,
andrew.miller@zenogroup.com for PacStar

Web site: http://www.pacstar.com/
http://www.spacenet.com/



Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.

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