How Viasat supports life-saving connectivity in times of crisis

Working with global partners, Viasat is a key contributor to providing critical connectivity

Viasat Disaster relief terminal.png

From fires to hurricanes, oil spills and volcano eruptions, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes, Viasat has provided critical connectivity solutions.

To support disaster response and relief, our committed team of employees consistently step up, dedicating their time and expertise to ensure first responders are connected and supported.

Providing essential connectivity

Satellites play a critical role in disaster relief, and Viasat is uniquely suited to quickly mobilize technology, employee volunteers, and connect with partners to provide internet solutions during global conflicts and natural disasters around the world. With satellite phones and portable broadband terminals, Viasat technology enables first-responders and rescue organizations to connect to our resilient satellite communication infrastructure whenever and wherever it’s needed.

Disaster relief infographic

Partnering for good

To quickly mobilize services, Viasat collaborates closely with NGOs, allied governments, non-profit agencies, and other trusted partners across the globe.

Allied governments

Countries from around the world have benefited from Viasat’s ability to quickly deploy the technology needed to access, facilitate, and coordinate disaster relief efforts.

Viasat has a long history of working with governments around the world when disaster strikes. For example, when Mount Mayon in the Philippines started showing signs of an impending eruption, Viasat quickly set up internet service and hotspots to aid with the recovery and restoration. When a 6.6 magnitude earthquake rumbled Turkey, Viasat provided indispensable internet access. Canada was able to use Viasat satellite technology to contain oil spills and Australia has used Viasat technology to scan for wildfires. Additionally, countries like Germany and Indonesia have used Viasat’s network for disaster preparation exercises.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

The ITU is a specialized agency of the United Nations that supports information and communication solutions in times of need. The ITU works to connect the world and bridge the digital divide. Within the first 24-48 hours of a disaster, like the volcanic eruption of Mount Bagana in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, Viasat has provided broadband terminals to the ITU. Through this quickly deployed technology, Viasat has been able to help the ITU restore the vital communication links required for coordination of disaster response activities within the government and humanitarian agencies involved in rescue and relief operations


RE:ACT is a team of volunteers, mostly military veterans, that can rapidly deploy all over the world in the wake of natural disasters. Because of their training and resilience, RE:ACT volunteers reach some of the most isolated communities to deliver life-saving aid. Among them are a committed group of Viasat skill-based volunteers who help to deliver humanitarian, fundraise, and support training and development

Viasat has provided RE:ACT with Global Xpress and Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) for reliable connectivity to coordinate relief efforts and handheld satellite phones, not only to keep the teams safe and in touch with base operations, but also to provide a communications lifeline for those affected by disaster.

Red Cross Disaster Services

As one of the most well-known aid organizations in the world, the Red Cross rely on the internet to communicate out in the field.

With Viasat’s portable satellite systems, which can be swiftly deployed, the Red Cross can effectively coordinate in the field. These systems have been instrumental in disaster response efforts, including Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and mudslides, providing communication technology to support volunteers and first responders. Viasat’s temporary satellite communications services have played a crucial role in establishing high-speed broadband internet and VoIP communications at distribution centers and in areas where traditional communication networks are unavailable.

Satellite CARES (Community Aid Relief Effort)

The Satellite CARES (Community Aid Relief Effort) program, in partnership with Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association Foundation and Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), assists communities affected by large scale natural disasters like flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

Viasat provides the program with emergency communication resources as well as the technological expertise from Viasat volunteers. Our volunteers provide both assistance and education, to help communities recover from disasters and in making them more resilient against future events.

Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF)

For over 20 years, Viasat has supported Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) mission to provide emergency communications in the wake of natural disasters or conflicts. As the principal communications provider to the United Nations in disaster situations, TSF has partnered with Viasat to enable governments, agencies, and other NGOs to coordinate emergency response, distribute lifesaving supplies and rebuild communities.

Free satellite phone calls and Wi-Fi offered to the victims of natural disasters or human conflict help reconnect families. Working out of regional bases in France, Thailand, Nicaragua, Mexico and the United States, expert teams are ready to be deployed with kit including Global Xpress and BGAN terminals and IsatPhone 2 satellite phones as soon as disaster strikes. Our connectivity is also used for training in high-risk countries so that local teams can use the equipment in future crises; and in programs designed to bridge the digital divide, giving remote communities access to online data and tools that support learning, healthcare, and the local economy.

Enabling a safer world

While it’s clear that satellites are essential during natural disasters and conflicts, they are also the backbone of enabling safety across global industries, including maritime, aviation and defense.

Whether its seafarers navigating the vast oceans, airplane passengers traveling worldwide, or warfighters stationed in foreign lands, satellite connectivity is a common thread that supports global safety.

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