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Satnews Daily
April 21st, 2020

SES Networks Infuses OptimERA with NSS-9 C-Band Capacity


Residents, businesses, schools, healthcare clinics and other organizations in parts of Alaska can access city-wide Wi-Fi and broadband services as always, despite increased network demand due to the recent “Stay at Home” rule, thanks to OptimERA Inc.

The company is significantly expanding their network capacity with SES Networks. The Alaskan Internet Service Provider (ISP) leveraged SES’s NSS-9 satellite increased C-band capacity and ramped up its networks within days, underscoring the agility of SES’s satellite services to rapidly address dynamic connectivity needs nearly anywhere in the world, SES announced today.

OptimERA serves the city of Unalaska and its surrounding towns and islands, including world-famous Dutch Harbor, the largest fishing port in the United States. Located in the Aleutian Islands, Unalaska has the largest full-time resident population in Southwest Alaska as well as many seasonal and part-time residents due to the fishing industry. OptimERA started working with SES Networks in 2017 to provide backbone capacity so the ISP could serve the residents and businesses of this remote location that is 800 miles from the nearest fiber-based network.

After Alaska’s governor issued “stay at home” guidance to address the COVID-19 crisis at the start of April, OptimERA recognized the significant impact it would have on the residents and businesses of this remote community who would suddenly be working from home or unable to go to school or visit local healthcare providers. It would also dramatically change the volume of traffic on its network.

The additional capacity provided to OptimERA has enabled people in Unalaska to take advantage of online resources to stay connected with work, students and teachers to work on distance learning programs, and patients to do video calls with the healthcare staff at the local clinic to discuss symptoms or issues they are experiencing, which is especially critical now with COVID-19.

Emmett Fitch, CEO at OptimERA, said that with the entire world impacted by this crisis, and the company's daily routines affected as well, the firm feels it is even more acute in remote and rural areas so OptimaERA wanted to quickly step up to the plate for our community so that all are connected beyond the houses.


Artistic rendition of the NSS-9 satellite.
Image is courtesy of SES.

Omar Trujillo, VP of Sales, Fixed Data, Americas, at SES Networks, added that now, more than ever, networks are playing a key role in seamlessly connecting to the people and content needed the most, whether it’s a student asking a teacher a question, a patient talking to a healthcare provider about symptoms, a worker collaborating on a project, or simply video calling a friend or family. SES Networks is glad the company is able to provide this additional connectivity service to OptimERA and their customers in such a short time and be the reliable connectivity provider they need.