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AST Systems UK, part of The AST Group, is proud to have supported the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria by providing a backup communications system in the Caribbean region to aid in future emergencies and disaster relief efforts.

ABOUT THE CUSTOMER

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) promotes the United Kingdom’s interests overseas, supporting UK citizens and businesses around the globe.

THE CHALLENGE

To provide resilient communications to serve as a critical lifeline in emergency situations where terrestrial communications are interrupted or unavailable. The required system must be quickly and easily deployable by local personnel in the event of an emergency, and capable of delivering reliable voice and data connectivity to several sites throughout the region including: Anguilla, Grand Turk, Grand Cayman, Montserrat, Tortola, Bridgetown and British Virgin Islands.

Local authorities must be able to maintain their existing communications services – including email, Internet and phone networks – to help co-ordinate emergency and disaster relief efforts.

THE SOLUTION

AST Systems UK provided local authorities in the Caribbean with hardware, training and a flexible airtime package tailored to meet their specific requirements. To ensure the systems could be deployed as rapidly as possible, AST performed a demo and live tests on the systems in the UK and offered training to familiarise key personnel in the field with basic setup and first-line troubleshooting procedures. The training was designed not only to enable personnel to fix common issues quickly and independently, but also to train other personnel to do the same. 

To deliver the most efficient and cost-effective solution, AST offered a flexible airtime package. Pauline Truckle, Director of AST Systems explained, “Recognising there is only a seasonal requirement for the system to be active, we were able to create a flexible response package that allows the service to be activated during the hurricane season and remain on standby during other times of year, resulting in considerable savings to the customer.”

2019 AND BEYOND

AST Systems UK are pleased to offer additional IP networking services, including committed terrestrial network services to ensure the best possible service performance for all our customers.

AST’s Global Customer Support department provides 24/7 support to customers around the world, and our fully trained in-house engineers can offer bespoke installations, training, repairs, software upgrades and PCB board replacements.