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Bridging the Broadband Gap

In this Better Satellite World podcast series, part of the Bridging the Broadband Gap campaign, we explore the expanding role of satellite broadband in the Enterprise and Humanitarian sectors. SSPI will speak with companies that are delivering fast, secure affordable Internet to businesses and institutions; schools and villages. These companies lead the changes that have established new orbits and new delivery models. The race is on to reduce the cost of service to levels never seen before so that the “middle of nowhere” will become no more!

Episode 1: The Post-COVID Enterprise

Broadband connectivity is only the foot of the bridge built by satellite networks. In a world shaken and stirred in ways unimaginable, connectivity has been revealed as THE primary economic enabler and the glue to a connected economy and the corporate enterprise. The “hybrid” workforce and the rise of video and massive uses of data among even the smallest companies has made enterprise broadband increasingly essential.

So where are the gaps and the opportunities within this sector? What changes have taken place within the company that pioneered and made consumable online access?

In this first episode of the Bridging the Broadband Gap podcast series, we take a look at the universe that Hughes created for the current and future enterprise.  We speak to executives who discuss the global trends in satellite broadband, the strategy going forward and how broadband is shaping the world’s most dynamic economy: that of the United States.

Randy Anders, Vice President of North American Sales at Hughes, leads the team responsible for the company’s enterprise sales in the U.S and Canada. In his role, Mr. Anders heads sales of the HughesON™ suite of managed services, including managed SD-WAN, as well as satellite solutions using high-throughput capacity from the Hughes JUPITER™ fleet, EchoStar fleet and OneWeb low Earth orbit satellites, to enterprises, franchisers, resellers and aeronautical service providers.

Over his 20+ year career in the satellite industry, Mr. Anders has assumed increasingly senior sales positions, working at both operator and service provider companies. Prior to joining Hughes, Mr. Anders was Vice President of Sales at Intelsat, responsible for Media, Mobility and Broadband Sales.

Mr. Anders served in the United States Marine Corps from 1984 to 1990 and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and a Master of Business Administration degree from Mount Saint Mary’s University.

Vaibhav Magow, Vice President of the International Division at Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), leads the company’s broadband systems sales effort in the Asia Pacific, Middle East/Africa, Europe and Russia/CIS regions. Mr. Magow works closely with satellite operators, mobile network operators, and national and local government agencies to tailor and implement high performing and efficient satellite solutions to help connect the unconnected and enable enterprise digital transformations.

A satellite communications and IT professional with more than 25 years of experience, Mr. Magow has held positions of increasing responsibility in sales, product development, marketing and program management over the course of his career. Prior to joining Hughes in his regional role, Mr. Magow focused on the Indian satellite market at Hughes Communications India, Ltd. (Hughes India).

Mr. Magow obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Science from the University of Pune in Pune, Maharashtra, India. He speaks frequently at regional industry conferences and panels.

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Episode 2: The Joy of Connecting the World

Hellas Sat is in a unique position to eliminate the digital divide in many areas around the world. The company received an award from the International Telcommunication Union (ITU) in 2022 and a Better Satellite World Award from SSPI in 2021 for enabling broadband connectivity to 127 public clinics and hospitals in Zimbabwe and for its efficient collection and distribution of health data to policy makers. Hellas Sat is making a difference, and it does so with a genuine passion for making the world a better place through satellite.

In this second episode of the Bridging the Broadband Gap podcast series, we hear from Ken Karantonis, Space Programs Manager at Hellas Sat, who has been with the company for nearly 20 years. Ken tells us a bit about the company’s approach to closing the digital divide in places that have particularly suffered due to lack of connectivity and how Hellas Sat makes such goals financially feasible to pursue.

Kendeas Karantonis is Space Programs Manager at Hellas Sat, a position he has held for over 7 years. In his current role, he is responsible for managing business development and technical feasibility for the company’s new satellite program. Ken also manages the company’s ESA and EU research and innovation strategic programs dedicated to space and ground systems development. He managed the Hellas Sat 4 program end-to-end, from initiation all the way through launch and in-orbit commissioning phases. Before becoming Space Programs Manager, Ken served for 11 years as Senior Satellite Operations Manager, a role in which he supervised the engineering team responsible for fleet monitoring and anomaly resolution and worked closely with support manufacturers to assist in contingency investigation and implementation of corrective actions. Prior to joining Hellas Sat, he spent 3 years as a Project Manager working on Voith turbo Variable Speed Drives systems and 3 years as an R&D Engineer for Wyle Laboratories.

Episode 3: Wisconsin - Where Network Uptime Took a Step UP!

For three decades, Wisconsin-based Isotropic Networks has moved the satellite communications industry forward, pushing the speed limits of single and hybrid networks and showing the industry what network uptime should be. Today, it is deploying the most advanced network monitoring and throughput management platform around. In a complex world, they solve the complex satellite communications problems other companies cannot or will not.

In this third episode of Bridging the Broadband Gap, we hear from Hank Zbierski, CEO and Chief Catalyst of Isotropic Networks, who co-founded the company in 1992. Hank tells us a bit about Isotropic's vision of what the satellite industry can be and what the company is doing to create more robust hybrid networks to help provide broadband everywhere.

Hank Zbierski is CEO and Chief Catalyst of Isotropic Networks. He co-founded the company in 1992 with his wife Lynn. Hank has over 30 years of experience with satellite communications. As Chief Catalyst, Hank focuses on strategic technology and a client-obsessed organization that delivers “first of its kind” solutions and experiences in the satellite communications industry. Under his leadership, Isotropic has sustained a two-digit growth rate year over year since its founding. An acknowledged expert in satellite communications, aviation and all things canine, Hank is often asked to speak to industry groups and serve on advisory panels. Prior to founding Isotropic Networks, Hank was a partner in a Chicago-based commodity-clearing firm and pioneered the use of satellite communications in the financial services industry.

Episode 4: Crisis Connectivity Charter Update

Before 2018, there were few structural ways for communications to be rapidly restored after a major disaster struck a community. But the satellite industry understood how vital communications are as the first response to a disaster. It established the Crisis Connectivity Charter, a collaboration between the satellite industry and the humanitarian relief community to make satellite-based communications more readily available to affected communities. The Charter established a pre-planned set of systems that allow for an immediate response at the time of a disaster.

The Crisis Connectivity Charter, which won a Better Satellite World Award in 2018, was developed by members of the EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) and the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) and their members, in coordination with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), which was led by the World Food Programme (WFP). At the time of creation, the Charter aimed to foster efficient cooperation between the satellite industry, local governments, non-government organizations (NGOs) and the broader humanitarian community in the initial stages of a disaster, allowing for better communication planning, increased connectivity and support for emergency responses. The Charter prioritized access to bandwidth during disaster responses by allocating pre-positioned satellite equipment and transmission capacity into high-risk countries. It also provides training and capacity-building for the humanitarian community around the world.

What have been the results of this historic agreement and Charter to date? In this fourth episode of Bridging the Broadband Gap, we hear from David Meltzer, Secretary General of GVF and James Matthews, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Eutelsat Group, who discuss the Charter and its effects thus far.

David Meltzer has 30 years of experience in the satellite and humanitarian industries. Mr. Meltzer currently leads GVF which is the sole global trade association for the commercial satellite industry representing the entire ecosystem. As GVF’s Secretary General, he leads advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry with national and international regulators while providing members with benefits in areas such as online and classroom training, organizing industry conferences and online webinars, and leading industry working groups. Prior to GVF, Mr. Meltzer served as Intelsat’s General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Regulatory Affairs during a sixteen-year career at Intelsat and also served for thirteen years at the American Red Cross leading its international disaster relief and development activities and as the American Red Cross’ General Counsel for over five years.




James Matthews is Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Eutelsat, a position he took on recently after more than 20 years at the company. In his current role, he is responsible for ensuring the definition and delivery of Eutelsat group’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy. Throughout his time at Eutelsat, James has held a variety of roles, beginning as a Project Manager before being promoted to Head of Project Management & Service Monitoring and then Head of Traversal Programs and Teleport Infrastructure. Before joining Eutelsat in 2002, He served for nearly 2 years as Head of Project Management for Neos Networks.

Episode 5: Transforming the Rural Economy

Richard Baldridge joined Viasat in April 1999, serving as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer from 2000 and as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 2002. Mr. Baldridge assumed his current role as President and Chief Operating Officer in 2003.

Mr. Baldridge was elected to the Board of Directors of Viasat in 2016. In addition, Mr. Baldridge serves as a director of Ducommun Incorporated, a provider of engineering and manufacturing services to the aerospace and defense industries, and EvoNexus, a San Diego based non-profit technology incubator.

Prior to joining Viasat, Mr. Baldridge served as Vice President and General Manager of Raytheon Corporation’s Training Systems Division from January 1998 to April 1999. From June 1994 to December 1997, Mr. Baldridge served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Hughes Information Systems and Hughes Training Inc., prior to their acquisition by Raytheon in 1997. Mr. Baldridge’s other experience includes various senior financial and general management roles with General Dynamics Corporation.

Mr. Baldridge holds a B.S.B.A. degree in Information Systems from New Mexico State University.

Dr. Norman Jacknis is currently Senior Fellow at the Intelligent Community Forum. His responsibilities include leading ICF’s Rural Imperative, building on the ideas he developed for the US Conference of Mayors on a future-oriented economic growth strategy for cities.

Before joining ICF, he was Director, Cisco’s IBSG Public Sector Group (the company’s open innovation and pro-bono strategic advisory group), where he worked extensively with states and local government, the National Association of Counties, the US Conference of Mayors and the staff responsible for the Federal government’s website and citizen engagement. In addition to citizen engagement, his focus was on economic growth, innovation, and the future of technology. Before Cisco, he was technology commissioner for Westchester County, New York, when it was one of ICF’s Top 7.

In addition to his regular Looking Forward blog for elected government executives and earlier articles, Dr. Jacknis has recently written articles and book chapters on “Beyond Smarter City Infrastructure – The New Urban Experience”, “A New Kind Of Public Square For Urban America, “Government’s Role In Facilitating An Innovative Economy” and “Transformation of the Local Government CTO/CIO”. He has been a frequent speaker at state/local government and technology industry events, in North America, Latin America, Europe, China, Korea and Australia. He led frequent economic partnership missions to China starting in 1998.

He received his Doctorate, Master's and Bachelor’s degrees from Princeton University. Among several leadership positions in the technology, education and library communities, he is President of the New York Metropolitan Library Council.

Roberto Gallardo is Assistant Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development and a Purdue Extension Community & Regional Economics Specialist. He holds an electronics engineering undergraduate degree, a master's in economic development, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration. Gallardo has worked with rural communities over the past decade conducting local & regional community economic development, including use of technology for development.

He has authored more than 70 articles including peer-reviewed and news-related regarding rural trends, socioeconomic analysis, industrial clusters, the digital divide, and leveraging broadband applications for community economic development. He is also the author of the book “Responsive Countryside: The Digital Age & Rural Communities”, which highlights a 21st century community development model that helps rural communities transition to, plan for, and prosper in the digital age. Dr. Gallardo is a TEDx speaker and his work has been featured in a WIRED magazine article, a documentary, and a RFDTV documentary. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and two daughters.

This podcast originally aired in December 2019 as part of the Transforming the Rural Economy Better Satellite World podcast series.