Viasat was recognized for making a positive social impactful through activities that are part of its core business on this year’s Fortune Change the World list.
Viasat debuted on the list in the #12 spot; joining 51 other companies from across the globe on the list.
For inclusion on the Change the World list, Fortune focuses on companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more that are making measurable social impact, are innovative and that incorporate outreach initiatives into their overall corporate strategy. Another key metric is positive business results related to the social impact initiative.
One major area where Viasat is helping “change the world” is with our Community Wi-Fi service, now available in both Mexico and Brazil and planned for other countries globally. In unserved and underserved communities where internet service is spotty or nonexistent, Viasat Community Wi-Fi offers affordable, high-quality internet access. The satellite service is installed at a central location — such as a grocery store — and the Wi-Fi signal is made available across the community. Internet service costs can be as low as 50 cents per hour — making accessibility possible.
Mark Dankberg, chairman and chief executive officer at Viasat, said, “We’re pleased to be recognized by Fortune on their 2019 Change the World list. We have an opportunity to apply our unique skills to help address one of the most important challenges of our time – bringing affordable, abundant, broadband connectivity to the most challenging places in the world.”
Viasat currently offers the Community Wi-Fi service in Mexico, leveraging its ViaSat-2 satellite, and in Brazil from the SGDC-1 satellite through its partnership with Telebras, the state-run telecommunications company. In coming years, Viasat is planning to launch a globe-spanning satellite constellation, known as ViaSat-3, which will offer unprecedented access to the internet all around the world.
Dankberg continued, “Delivering broadband anywhere means re-imagining not only the way space systems are conceived, designed and built, but also overcoming myriad physical distribution, logistics and technology adoption hurdles here on earth. That same combination of disruptive space technology and entrepreneurial drive that is fueling Viasat’s rapid growth and re-defining in-flight connectivity for air travel can enable people and communities that have been on the wrong side of the digital divide to benefit from online resources in telemedicine, education, e-commerce, employment, banking and more.”
While Community Wi-Fi helps people connect in everyday situations, Viasat also promotes employee-focused, skills-based volunteering initiatives. In these instances, we use the internet to help places and people in need recover, rebuild and be more resilient following a disaster situation.
One example where we used our satellite technology/service to connect those unconnected came after Hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma, which devastated Puerto Rico. Following these hurricanes, Viasat went down and set-up our satellite technology to help communities across the island get connected. But we also found ways to help Puerto Rican citizens rebuild their personal and business lives to be successful.
Providing social aid is core to Viasat’s culture, and after the hurricanes, we partnered with International Connector, a Bay Area company, which helps disaster-stricken communities rebuild using technology. Together we built “Innovation Hubs” in two towns that were hit extremely hard by the hurricanes. We donated hardware, installation and satellite service, plus provided funding for computers, printers, furniture, supplies and personnel. But most importantly, we were able to help the local people get back on their feet through workshops and activities that showed how technology could help them flourish.
Being recognized on the Fortune Change the World list aligns perfectly with the Viasat mission. When we look at the connectivity market globally, we see an enormous opportunity to connect the unconnected — and under-connected — through advancements in communications systems. Those populations we can serve will benefit greatly from the technology that forms our core business.
Viasat’s focus is on building and deploying innovative, high-capacity satellite broadband data networks that can serve people and industries all over the globe. We approach these opportunities from a growing position of strength that comes from our disruptive technology and thoughtful strategic choices.
We’re also developing strong global partnerships and getting familiar with the diverse markets that align with our services. Our vertically integrated business model allows us to learn quickly to build on our advantages, profit and grow.
For more information about Fortune’s 2019 Change the World list:
A complete listing of the companies featured on the 2019 Fortune Change the World list can be found here.
Fortune’s Change the World methodology, can be found here.