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On June 30, 2020, Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, announced the official launch of its Real-Time Earth (RTE) facility in Alice Springs, Australia.

Viasat partnered with the Centre for Appropriate Technology Ltd (CfAT), an Aboriginal not-for-profit science and technology company based in Alice Springs, which built and owns the new facility through its wholly-owned commercial subsidiary CfAT Satellite Enterprises Pty Ltd, and Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), an Australian Commonwealth commercially-focused government authority, which helped finance the project and provides related commercial advice and support.

Viasat’s RTE network provides Ground-Station-as-a-Service (GSaaS) to the earth observation and remote sensing community. The service offers affordability and reduced latency through automation and geographic diversity on a pay-per-use basis. Viasat’s RTE service will be able to support next-generation and legacy low earth orbit satellites using the S-, X-, and Ka-bands, which will enable operators to meet today’s and tomorrow’s data requirements.

“We are delighted to announce the Viasat RTE facility in Alice Springs is now open for business,” said John Williams, vice president of Real-Time Earth at Viasat. “CfAT, IBA and the Alice Springs community-at-large were instrumental in executing this impressive RTE ground station. This new facility will enable the advancement of how critical data for environmental, shipping, oil and gas, government among other industries is delivered on-demand around the world.”

Peter Renehan, CEO of CfAT Ltd, said, “It is a huge achievement for CfAT to have built this amazing Viasat RTE facility. Working with great support from our partners Viasat and IBA, we have demonstrated that CfAT can continue to contribute positively to technology and critical space advancements, which will benefit Indigenous people and communities in outback Australia, as well as the broader Australian economy. The project has already delivered important skills transfer to Aboriginal people. We were very proud of the local Aboriginal workers who developed new skills and successfully assembled the two 7.3m antennas. The local economy has also benefited, with $1 million spent during the construction phase on local businesses, including two wholly-owned Aboriginal companies. CfAT is also contracted by Viasat to provide on-site facilities management and on-going site maintenance. The future looks bright, and we are looking forward to building on our business relationships with Viasat and IBA to bring this new technology to Australia.”

Rajiv Viswanathan, CEO of IBA, said, “Built and owned by our Indigenous partner CfAT, this RTE facility is a nationally significant infrastructure development which will help to completely transform the geospatial analytics and earth observation industries in Australia. We are incredibly proud of CfAT’s achievement. The successful construction of this facility shows the whole world that Aboriginal people can be at the forefront of new technology industries in Australia. CfAT is a successful Aboriginal corporation that has for many years been at the vanguard of technology innovation and application in remote Australia. Despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CfAT and its subsidiary Ekistica successfully developed this facility with Viasat. CfAT now have an exceptional opportunity to grow its business in Australia as it looks to generate commercial returns for CfAT as well as flow-on benefits for end-users of geospatial data such as local Indigenous land and sea managers. We are proud to support CfAT in realizing their ambitions for growth in the space sector.”

Viasat’s RTE satellite ground station facility is located at CfAT’s Heath Road site in Alice Springs, Australia. It consists of two Viasat full-motion antenna systems and associated infrastructure. The new ground station forms part of the Viasat RTE network and complements other Viasat RTE sites in North America, South America and Europe.

On June 18, 2020, Viasat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) announced its business satellite internet service will be offered through MetTel, a digital transformation and communications leader. The satellite internet service expands MetTel’s growing portfolio of connectivity offerings and will initially be available in the contiguous U.S., with the potential to expand into Puerto Rico, Mexico and other international markets.

According to Pew Research Center, nearly a quarter of rural Americans indicate not having high-speed connectivity is a major issue in their local community. This issue also affects businesses in underserved suburban and urban areas that depend on reliable, always-on connectivity and real-time communications for critical business services.

As part of the agreement, MetTel will offer Viasat’s high-speed, highly-reliable satellite internet service as an option to MetTel’s business and government customer base, expanding MetTel’s coverage options in remote and difficult-to-reach locations. Viasat’s business internet service covers 96 percent of the U.S. population and currently offers a variety of unlimited and metered data plans with download speeds up to 100 Mbps in select areas. MetTel’s converged network pools the connectivity of more than 70 national and local carriers across North America.

“We’re delighted to bring the MetTel network into the escalating space race for business,” said Marshall Aronow, CEO of MetTel. “Including Viasat’s satellite connectivity into our portfolio of advanced services, from primary connectivity to our Gartner-recognized, best-in-class SD-WAN solutions, allows us to provide customers more options for reliable, high-speed broadband communications.”

“Our agreement with MetTel will help businesses nationwide—who have encountered difficulty in getting an adequate broadband signal to remote sites—to now have a cost-effective option that can be deployed quickly,” said Cody Catalena, vice president and general manager, Global Business Solutions, Viasat. “With Viasat as part of MetTel’s business continuity solutions, customers get a more resilient service that combines traditional land-based connectivity with Viasat’s space-based internet.”

Viasat is recognized for offering a proven satellite broadband service, and having some of the most powerful satellites in space—delivering fast, reliable connectivity. The Company is also one of the first Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute satellite providers able to support direct cloud connections for enterprise customers. Viasat’s business internet service is typically installed within a three to five day window from placing an order, enabling expanding companies to connect remote branches quickly.

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