Okay – we have this great idea. A plan, really. We haven’t sent out a press release as yet, and certainly a few of the details have not been totally worked out. But we think we’re on to something big here, and would love to have your feedback.
LinkUp Communications and UK-based Holkirk – manufacturers of a ruggedized line of portable satellite antennas – are working together to devise a disaster relief response solution, starting along the gulf coast. The plan allows businesses, first responders, hospitals, universities and broadcasters to “reserve” emergency conductivity that could literally save their businesses following a devastating unforeseen event.
To put it another way, very soon we will be in the business of providing temporary satellite communication technology and uplink services during times when routine channels of communication and data transfer are disrupted.
It’s not outside our wheelhouse, but we are taking satellite deployment in a completely different direction than in the past. Why? Because we think there is nothing worse than being caught unprepared. Especially when the very nature your business demands connectivity.
AN IDEA TAKES HOLD
No one knows this better than a broadcaster. Our business depends upon reliable equipment, redundancy, and knowledgable engineering. That’s why in a time of crisis – like a natural disaster – broadcasters take the task of staying connected very seriously. In fact, most broadcasters spend a great deal of time and money investing in a redundancy plan for their network.
Unfortunately, many other businesses do not put as much thought into developing a connectivity PLAN B. Redundancy falls down near the bottom of their endless list of “things to do”. Because of this, they’re gambling on the future of their business, sometimes with disastrous results.
We saw this first-hand last fall here in Bay County, FL, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. The county’s entire power grid was destroyed, as was the terrestrial infrastructure. Because IP could not be delivered by fiber, nearly every business suffered. Those who could reopen after the storm could only accept cash transactions. Customers who banked locally experienced a conundrum; they could deposit their paychecks, but could not cash them.
The lack of connectivity was not simply an inconvenience; for local businesses it often meant the difference between serving and keeping their clientele. Financially, it only makes sense; the quicker a business is up, running, and prepared to accept transactions, the better.
DISASTER RELIEF RESPONSE: HERE’S THE PLAN
We recognize that both planned and unplanned events can disrupt your ability to engage in the communications and data transmissions that are integral to your business. That’s why, for a monthly fee, LinkUp (that’s us) will provide customers temporary satellite uplink services with data bandwidth for up to one week per year.
LinkUp offers potential customers the Holkirk QDV120 quick-deploy antenna with electronics capable of operating in the Ku band frequency, the time needed for connectivity via satellite, plus a trained technician. Those who sign up for our plan can be confident of our response when they are in need. We are on site after your emergency for up to seven days, bringing with us everything required on our end to keep your data up and running, including a generator with fuel. If you need more than a week, we can provide additional time as available.
The business model? It’s kind of like an insurance policy, but exclusive in scope. The best way for us to insure effective unit deployment is limiting distribution according to geographic locations. We deliberately contract to assist only a few companies within a specific city or geographic area, assuring our customers that the resources that they reserved are available.
IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY, BREAK GLASS
Obviously, this solution may not be the right decision for everyone. For many businesses, we would definitely recommend having their own Holkirk mobile satellite unit; First Responders, medical facilities, universities and broadcasters come to mind. Owning a small portable uplink is smart; especially if your criteria includes a need for more bandwidth or an extremely quick turnaround.
One of our broadcast customers – who had recently experienced a few too many weather-related close calls at their main studio – found purchasing the Holkirk QDV120 well worth the investment. The main studio feeds over 160 downlinks across the country. His take? “I hope we stick this unit in a closet and never have to use it.”
But others, who are looking for a more cost effective way to gain some protection after a natural or man-made disaster, may find our disaster response the right fit for their needs. We think so.
They’ll have the ability to restore their IP and data connectivity on site, and they have the assurance of a quick recovery.
WE’D LIKE YOUR THOUGHTS
I’m sure we can all agree; the need for cost-effective yet reliable communications continues to be one of biggest challenges a business can face. Each day we rely more and more on the ability to connect. More of what we do – what we must do – from financial transactions, to inventory, and to human resources, is dependent on the continuity of our connection. Is there any part of your business that doesn’t require connectivity? We don’t think so.
Our goal is to approach this service exactly like the other solutions we offer:
First, by putting the customer and his needs first. We are acutely aware that when a client need us, they need us NOW – even if “now” falls outside normal business hours.
Second, by taking the issue of emergency connectivity after a crisis off their plate. When your business is experiencing a disaster, restoring communications is one less problem you need to deal with.
So friends, what are your thoughts? Any suggestions on how we can do this better? And, are there some specific markets where you believe the Holkirk line of portable ku uplinks can be applied? Drop Mark or me an email; tell us what you think. Looking forward to your feedback.