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USCG passes 100 mini-VSAT installations

KVH reports that it has now passed the 100-vessel mark in installations under its 10-year contract to supply satellite communications to the US Coast Guard’s fleet of small cutters.

The 10-year deal was announced in September 2010, and was valued at approximately $42 million.

To date, KVH’s TracPhone V7 systems have been deployed on 105 USCG vessels across eight different classes of cutters, with its mini-VSAT Broadband service providing 29.2 terabytes of data and more than 835,000 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) minutes since the contract for hardware, airtime, and support was first announced.

KVH systems are now in use on cutters in all US Coast Guard districts in the continental US, as well as in the Persian Gulf, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

A cutter is a USCG designation for any vessel over 65 feet in length, including coastal patrol boats, seagoing buoy tenders, and fast-response cutters used for operations including drug interdiction, maritime border security, anti-piracy tasks, search and rescue operations, and humanitarian efforts.

KVH says that the low latency of the service has proven particularly important to USCG in allowing for the processing of biometric information from vessel to shore, a key part of immigration and law enforcement activities.

“In the face of rapidly expanding data communications requirements, including real-time use of biometric technology, homeland security efforts, and extended worldwide operations, the US Coast Guard needed a global communications solution robust enough to support these demands and rugged enough for even the most demanding maritime conditions,” said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer.

“Affordability was a critical factor for the US Coast Guard as well, and our mini-VSAT Broadband network offers a cost-effective solution to replace expensive legacy services and still provide global coverage.”

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