Telenor Satellite Broadcasting
In the private sector, SSPI recognizes Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, a unit of Telenor, for continuous innovation in its primary service areas of the Nordic countries, Europe and the Middle East. Beginning in the 1990s, Telenor Satellite Broadcasting introduced a series of leading-edge services, beginning with the first digital TV programming in Norway in 1997 on its new Thor satellites. Today, 95% of DTH antennas and 100% of cable and SMATV antennas in the Nordic countries point at a Thor bird. In 2002, TSB introduced one-way and two-way IP services to Norway, Europe and the Middle East. The company has been instrumental in helping Nordic broadcasters test and implement HDTV and, in 2005, launched one of Europe's first commercial HDTV channels. In 2005, the company also introduced its Multi-Service Network, which ties together its teleports and optical fiber into a single mesh service platform for customers.
The American Red Cross
In the public/nonprofit sector, SSPI recognizes the Disaster Assessment/GIS and the Response Technology Units of the American Red Cross for use of VSAT-based systems to direct and manage deployment of relief teams in the US and overseas, and to provide for direct assistance to thousands of people affected by the Gulf hurricanes of 2005. In the Gulf, the Red Cross deployed 48 VSAT systems operating in both stand-alone mode and as the hubs for 17 radio-relay networks. These terrestrial networks used Internet Protocol over a low-band frequency to deliver data and Voice over IP. Using this network, volunteers in the field collected data on damage to homes and facilities and posted it to the Red Cross Graphical Information System database using laptops donated by Google Earth, which also provided satellite imagery linked to the GIS database. The resulting files were shared widely on the Google Earth bulletin board system and facilitated faster and better decision-making by all involved in the relief effort.
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