Saving lives and jobs through broadband satellite connectivity

Phase I: The Proposal

On June 8, 2010 Skycasters submitted a proposal in Washington, D.C., for a $5.1 million in ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) committee. Project SafetyNet, as we’re calling it, will bring life-saving and economy-stimulating satellite broadband Internet to public safety organizations in unserved portions of rural America. Believe it or not, these police departments, fire departments, EMS and the like are still using dial-up, amateur radio and other last-century technology to access the Internet and communicate with one another. Not good. Here’s how our proposal will change all that.

The goal of Project SafetyNet is twofold. First, it will arm rural public safety agencies with the technology they need to save lives and protect property. A Skycasters broadband satellite Internet connection will enhance their ability to provide homeland security training and response, border patrol and anti-drug efforts, and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications during emergencies. It will also give them the mobility they need during lost and missing persons incidents and disaster response.

Secondly, Project SafetyNet will prompt rural economic recovery by creating and saving jobs, and by establishing safer communities. In fact, one of the agencies that expressed interest in our services has estimated that Project SafetyNet will have a positive impact in his community of $3.4 million.

Approval of our proposal will allow us to provide a total of 80 communities, counties and states with two years of free satellite broadband Internet, along with free business-grade equipment in one of two mobile equipment configurations. We will also provide no-cost training at our headquarters in Akron.

In total, the beneficiaries of this funding (agencies we will help) serve more than 37 million American citizens across a geographic area that spans 283,401 square miles, so imagine the impact Project SafetyNet will have.

Phase II: The Politics

We are now in the second phase of our campaign, scheduling meetings with state governors, congressional representatives and other influential people, asking them to endorse our proposal. We have also asked our beneficiaries to write letters of support to their governors and legislators. We expect to receive an answer from RUS in September. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

To find out how our services will be used to save lives and stimulate the economy, download the Executive Summary of our proposal here.

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