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Verizon, Spacenet win $25M Postal Service satellite contract

Nationwide system will support range of applications at 5,000 sites

October 1, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Verizon Business and Spacenet Inc. announced today that the companies won a $25 million contract to provide point-to-point satellite communications for about 5,000 U.S. Postal Service sites.

The two-year contract, dubbed ORB-IT (for Outerspace Radio Broadcast Information Technology), could be extended to eight years in all under three, two-year optional extensions, both companies reported.

Both providers will offer the Postal Service full-time broadband satellite data services and on-demand connectivity, using VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) technology. Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications Inc., has also been the Postal Service's private network provider since 1997.

Spacenet said in a statement that the satellite network will support a number of applications, including a video relay service for postal workers who are deaf or hard of hearing, multicast content delivery, real-time video broadcasting, voice-over-IP telephone service, and more routine data transport and point-of-sale transactions.

Sites are expected to be in operation this fall. The network will also support 20 mobile satellite communications kits to be used in USPS vehicles during emergencies.

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