HISPASAT awarded for its collaboration with the UN for its work with natural disasters

6th March 2019

As part of the Crisis Connectivity Charter, HISPASAT will collaborate with the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) of the United Nations when a disaster hits in America.

HISPASAT received the Better Satellite World Award on 3 December which is given by the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) each year to recognise the initiatives of the satellite industry which positively impact society and the planet. The Director of Communications, Cristina Perez Cantó, received the award during a ceremony held in London with numerous representatives from the sector.

Together with HISPASAT, the SSPI awarded all the signatory operators of the Crisis Connectivity Charter to recognise the Charter as a key mechanism, created between the satellite industry and the humanitarian community, in order to have satellites available with greater speed for the first responder teams and the communities affected by a disaster.

As part of the agreement, HISPASAT will collaborate with the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) of the United Nations when a disaster hits the region of America or Europe where we have better coverage. The operator has sent 10 terminals to the UN warehouses in Panama to make it easier to rapidly deploy the satellite connection on the ground. Additionally, the charter includes free capacity for three months, up to twice per year, for humanitarian purposes during the work responding to disasters that occur in the region. In February, the Broadband managers taught an introductory course in the Arganda control centre to the members of the United Nations technical team responsible for installing the antennas to train them for this task.

The Secretaries General of ESOA and GVF (Global VSAT Forum) stated that "satellites are often the only solution available during disasters and the permanent connection they offer allows response teams in emergencies to quickly re-establish communications in order to save lives. As one of the first industrial sectors to reach specific commitments to respond to disasters, the signatories of the Charter appreciate the recognition by SSPI and hope that this award can promote better use of the equipment and satellite services in the humanitarian community for rescue tasks".

The award recognised Arabsat, Eutelsat, Global Eagle, Hispasat, Inmarsat, Intelsat, SES, Thuraya, Yahsat, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and, as coordinators, the EMEA Satellite Operator's Association (ESOA) and the Global VSAT Forum (GVF).