Friday, August 20, 2010

Word from the President of FTI:

How many of us have occupied hours trying to find the one Christmas tree light in the string that caused the entire string of lights to go dark? How many of us have lost our cable service because of a failure of a piece of equipment located miles away? How many small rural small communities have lost their 9-1-1 or telephone service because of a prairie fire, flood or other natural disaster in some distant location? 

Unfortunately, the traditional telecommunications systems continue to be implemented with each successive device dependent upon signals from prior devices whether it is a cable or telephone network. Herein, is the clear advantage of two-way satellite broadband. Services to satellite customers are delivered direct from a point on the Internet “backbone” through a single point of possible failure located 22,300 miles in orbit to their location. No prairie fire, flood, tornado or other natural disaster can interfere with that path. 

No domestic terrorist attack upon the command and control or power grid of the United States can stop the broadband service; broadband services that are currently being used for Internet, entertainment, and telephone services. Whether used as a backup or a primary service, there seems to be an irrefutable argument for two-way satellite broadband services for years to come.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Grassroots Efforts Bring High-Speed Internet to Rural Kentucky—One Community’s Story

In Greenup County, Kentucky, Melinda Spears and her two teenage daughters have never had an opportunity to connect to affordable high-speed Internet.

“I have a daughter in high school and, well have you tried to do anything on the computer via dialup lately?” Spears wrote to ConnectKentucky. “It's excruciatingly slow if it even works at all. Needless to say, she is unable to do any of her computer based schoolwork at home. In this day of technology, citizens are literally handicapped without the use of the Internet for everything from entertainment to information to education to contacting your representatives.”

However, thanks to grassroots efforts from public officials, private industry, local residents, and ConnectKentucky, Spears, her daughters, and her neighborhood are now benefiting from affordable high-speed Internet.

In a time where connectivity continues to be an issue in many rural areas in all states, Spears’ story is all too common. Her neighborhood is small — just 17 or so families. It’s on the border of two counties — Greenup and Boyd. Spears called her neighborhood, which runs along Brookefield Farm Road, the “Bermuda Triangle of Greenup County.”

Based on a suggestion from State Rep. Tanya Pullin (D-District 98), Spears contacted ConnectKentucky.

“Is there any way you can help us few, honest, hard working citizens, to be a part of and enjoy the benefits of this new, incredible, digital society and not be left behind?” Spears wrote. “I realize this may seem trivial to some, what with all the problems in our country and the world beyond, but if nothing else, it will benefit the future and the education of our children who deserve the same chances that urban children have. Thanks for your time and your work you do for our community and the Great Commonwealth of Kentucky. I am proud to be a Kentuckian.”

RenĂ© True, executive director of ConnectKentucky, suggested that Spears gather a group of neighbors interested in broadband service. Spears did just that — 16 families in her area said they would subscribe to affordable broadband service if it was offered. True then contacted Foundation Telecommunications, Inc. (FTI) about the need and opportunity to provide broadband service to Spears’ neighborhood.

Starting in late May, FTI started providing Spears and her neighbors with high-speed service. Since the service began, FTI has had seven new subscribers.

For FTI, a ConnectKentucky Steering Committee partner, providing service to unserved areas is part of its mission.

“This community only had dial-up available prior to FTI installing this network,” said Bud Coburn of FTI. “Many had complaints about how long the downloads would take on dial-up for their kids to accomplish school work at home. With the faster speeds they were excited about the opportunity for their kids to learn their school work over the FTI network.”

George Livergood, president and chief executive officer of FTI, agreed.

“While it is certainly true that the new broadband service to the broadband ‘Bermuda Triangle of Greenup County’ is as a result of a public-private partnership with FTI, the project could never have become a reality without the cooperative efforts of the local community,” Livergood said.

For ConnectKentucky, helping Spears, her daughters, and her community become connected in an affordable way is a key component of the nonprofit’s work that continues to change the lives of Kentuckians.

“We are pleased to have helped Melinda and her daughters. Although the area served is a small one, we are privileged to have assisted Brookefield Farm residents in gaining the connectivity they deserve,” said True. “We applaud our friends at FTI and Rep. Pullin for their commitment to helping the communities they represent and serve. The broadband service offered by FTI provides hope for other Kentucky residents living in unserved areas.”

“I have been working to expand broadband service to our area for years. Because we are largely a rural area, several different ways to deliver high-speed Internet are needed to meet the needs of the residents here. Since FTI’s technology seems to work well, it may help to provide high-speed Internet to other rural parts of our county, too,” Rep. Pullin said.

Pullin continued, “I applaud Mrs. Spears and her neighbors for taking an active role in making this solution work. I also commend ConnectKentucky for their creativity in finding this high-speed Internet solution.”

For Spears and her neighbors, the new broadband service is working beautifully and they couldn’t be more excited.

“We were at the end of our rope. Our daughter had a new computer, but she was not using it. We are really happy with the new broadband service and others I have talked with are also pleased,” Spears said. “FTI was very persistent in dealing with the weather challenges in setting up the system. It is a whole different world being able to use broadband.”


About ConnectKentucky: ConnectKentucky is leading the way into a new economy for Kentuckians. As an independent technology-based economic development organization, ConnectKentucky works to ensure that Kentucky remains the place of choice to live, work, and raise a family. ConnectKentucky is an alliance of technology-minded businesses, government entities, and universities working together to accelerate technology in the Commonwealth.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FTI & Disaster Recovery: We go hand in hand.

Disasters can strike in countless ways, but despite the damage to your network - FTI has a disaster recovery solution designed to restore communications between your critical locations in seconds — using satellite technology. 

Backup Satellite Internet for
Business Continuity      

Virtually every company today depends on Internet connectivity to conduct its normal operations. But as vital as the Internet is, few businesses consider the risks of only having a single landline-based Internet service provider (ISP).
Unfortunately, many businesses have recently learned about these risks the hard way. Simple water main repairs or routine road construction may have accidentally damaged or disconnected a landline. An infrastructure failure or natural disaster may have caused an unforeseen interruption in service.
In any case, these businesses experienced a drop in productivity—immediately. Communication with customers was disrupted. Leads and inquiries, lost. The ability to fill orders, gone. It’s not enough to have just one Internet connection—you need a backup. And you need a backup that’s completely independent of the landline infrastructure, and not vulnerable to the same risks.
That’s why you need Foundation Telecommunications, Inc., the best and most reliable backup Internet solution for business continuity. Unlike other broadband satellite providers, everything we offer is business-grade. Which means we have the highest quality VSAT equipment, reliable teleports on the ground and transponders on the most sought-after satellites in the sky. Plus, we perform failover testing several times per year and monitor your satellite connection 24/7 year-round to ensure proper functionality. 


FTI introduces its Mobile Satellite Uplink Trailer: SatLink™.   The C or Ku band SatLink™ offers a wide variety of optional features including Two-way SCPC or TDMA Communications, High Speed Data Link, Moving Map with USGS Topographic Base linked with GPS and Satmaster Pro Software, pole mounted observation camera system and power systems of battery (up to 72 hours), propane generator, and commercial power cabling. 
The addition of the generator option provides constant utilization of the SatLink™ in areas that may not have access to commercial power making the SatLink™ extremely versatile in disaster areas and rural locations.
Suggested applications for the SatLink™ include; Emergency Disaster Relief, Rural Economic Development, Private State LAN/WAN Communications, Rural Internet Communications, State Highway Department, Department of Education, State Parks and Recreation, Interstate and Intrastate Secured Communications.  The flexibility of SatLink™ allows the applications can change as quickly as the technology. 
The design goal of the SatLink™ was to provide a stable universal platform with stable versatile power sub-systems capable of supporting any customer equipment and satellite option. As designed, customers may purchase the basic SatLink™ and add their own specialized electronics in the standard rack space provided.
Upon delivery to FTI, each SatLink™ is individually designed to meet the exact specifications of each customer order.  To the basic SatLink™, clients can choose from a wide variety of options including: antenna size, AC power sub-system size, transmitter, lighting options, battery upgrades, generator options, cellular phone communications package, air-conditioner, heaters, wireless LAN and/or Free Space Optics and custom installation kits.  Rack space can be reserved for customer installed components, as well.

Transportable VSAT Terminals     

Whether the need is satellite broadcast, disaster response communications, or military communications, FTI's flyaway VSAT system provides secure high-speed data communications for Internet/VPN connectivity, live videoconferencing, surveillance or reconnaissance.
  • Quick deploy government or military communications.
  • Deployable emergency response communications.
  • Temporary communications from industrial sites (eg: mining, construction, energy).
  • Distance learning and Telemedicine applications.

Telephone Recovery      

After an outage occurs, PRI in the Sky™ or 9-1-1 in the Sky™  enables your existing phone system to switch over to a satellite connection, instantly restoring normal functionality and turning every connected station into a satellite phone.
PRI in the Sky™ is compatible with Avaya, Nortel, Lucent, Cisco, NEC, 3COM, Alcatel, Mitel and any other system using PRI/ISDN for carrier connections.
A single satellite dish can support up to 92 concurrent calls in multiple formats (PRI, analog, E & M trunks) and simultaneously provide backup internet service.
PRI in the Sky is a new FTI  service that in combination with the Web Call Control can significantly increase Voice continuity in any organization. Used in conjunction with the Web Call Controller, FTI with the PRI option, can bring 24 PRI calls through a broadband Satellite link directly through your PBX. So in any type of outage caused by power, data loss, carrier problems, FTI can deliver 24 PRI calls directly through your phone switch.
For More information on the FTI PRI in the SKY Service Click Here

Friday, April 2, 2010

Using Satellite for Business Continuity

If a disaster strikes, every minute counts when your network operations go down.  Planning for recovery of critical I.T. assets can make the difference between business interruption and strategic recuperation.

Through experience and access to the latest satellite technology, FTI aids enterprises large and small to implement primary or network backup communications to help mitigate potential business disruptions and restore to normal operations quickly.

FTI's VSAT satellite solutions meet the needs of hospitals, large corporations, banks, and financial institutions worldwide.

Virtually every company depends on Internet connectivity to conduct its normal operations. But only few businesses consider the risks of only having a single land-line based Internet service provider (ISP). Unfortunately, many businesses have learned about these risks the hard way. Simple water main repairs or routine road construction may have accidentally damaged or disconnected a land-line. An infrastructure failure or natural disaster may have caused an unforeseen interruption in service. In any case, these businesses experienced a drop in productivity—immediately.

Even a few minutes of lost time during peak hours can sometimes translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost business and productivity.It’s not enough to have just one Internet connection—you need a backup. And you need a backup that’s completely independent of the land-line infrastructure, and not vulnerable to the same risks. That’s where back-up satellite Internet solutions scores over traditional terrestrial Internet.

The satellite Business Continuity solution helps businesses stay running at all times. Business Continuity is redundant Internet access that gives businesses the ability to automatically switch traffic among multiple Internet connections. When the primary link goes down, the satellite link takes over. Meanwhile, QoS prioritization guarantees bandwidth to most important applications.

When the primary link goes down, your customers get the WAN/ISP failover that automatically switches the critical Internet traffic to the VSAT Systems backup link. QoS priority and bandwidth management can be decided according to requirements to guarantee bandwidth for critical applications.

While this may be a standard market for satellite communication services, unlike other broadband satellite providers, everything we offer is business-grade. Which means we provide the highest quality VSAT equipment. One primary failure incident averted pays for the service several times over.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Product Spotlight: FTI Network Monitoring Service

Available to customers for pennies a day, FTI’s NPM enables customers to quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve network outages and performance issues.  It offers at-a-glance insight into networks, ensuring access to critical information needed to keep the network in tip-top shape; and FTI’s NPM is the easiest product of its kind to use and maintain, meaning more time actually managing networks.    

  • Monitor network performance indicators, such as bandwidth utilization, packet loss, latency, errors, discards, and quality of service for any SNMP-enabled devices
  • Monitor disk space, CPU load, and memory utilization on network devices
  • Conduct detailed performance monitoring and analysis of network elements
  • Hover over a network object to see additional details about the object including status, IP address, machine type, and percent loss.

FTI’s Network Performance Monitor (NPM) provides comprehensive performance, fault management and network availability tools to ensure that the network is always running at peak performance. Via a cutting-edge, customizable web interface, FTI’s NPM provides a unified view into the performance of thousands of nodes and interfaces on the customer’s network, all from a single web page where the operator can drill into any element to see exactly what's happening.

FTI’s NPM’s web interface provides real-time views of network performance and availability statistics, as well as detailed monitoring and analysis of data from routers, switches, servers and any other SNMP-enabled devices.  This performance monitoring data alerts for poor network conditions like slow traffic, loss of packets, or impaired devices.  The result is a comprehensive view of how the network is performing, providing the information needed to quickly isolate, diagnose, and repair problems before end users realize that a network issue has developed.

With FTI’s NPM, customers can also automatically monitor and set alerts on disk space, CPU load and memory utilization for network devices. With out-of-the-box support for many vendors and operating systems, including Cisco®, Foundry®, Extreme Networks®, Motorola®, ARRIS®, Linux, Solaris®, HP-UX®, AIX®, Windows® 2000, Windows 2003, and Windows XP devices, FTI’s NPM ensures that customers can easily collect and alert on conditions that could potentially cause a network outage or performance degradation.

For additional information and a demonstration call or contact Lamar Bostic at 

FTI’s NMS Screenshot: Fault Management & Network Availability Tools
[Color coded interactive map also available]