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Monday 12th January 2009: Prime Satellite Broadband helps Get Lancashire Reconnected before Christmas

Three days before Christmas a major gas explosion in Rawtenstall, Lancashire disrupted gas and electricity supplies to 18,000 homes in the Bacup, Waterfoot, Rawtenstall, Newchurch and Crawshawbooth areas. National Grid, who is responsible for the gas and electricity supplies for the area went into action immediately. At first it seemed that it could be many weeks before gas supplies were restored to everyone in the area, although electricity supplies were quickly restored. This meant that many people in the area faced a cold winter without their usual Christmas dinner.

About 300 engineers worked "around-the-clock" to restore services. Every gas customer had to be visited to test their supply before they could be switched back on. This was a mammoth task that required onsite co-ordination and management. Fortunately National Grid owns a Mobile Command Unit vehicle (MCU) that was immediately dispatched to the local area to help with the co-ordination of this task. Critically, this MCU contains a transportable satellite Internet terminal supplied by Prime Satellite Broadband, the services division of Prime Satcom Consulting Ltd. Thus, via the satellite Internet connection, the MCU was able to go to be located at the best position and even moved as required to optimise its usefulness and speed up the co-ordinated activity on the ground.

With this capability the operation was extremely successful with 16,000 homes reconnected in time for Christmas, the final 2000 being people who were not at home at the time of the operation.

Chris Green, National Grid Operations Implementation manager, responsible for the MCU said “The Mobile Command Unit is a critical component of National Grid’s effectiveness in such emergencies. The excellent service and support provided by Prime Satellite Broadband’s satellite link has multiplied the ability of the Unit to perform its vital role to speed up restoration of services to customers and deal with many emergency events that we may encounter”.

Tareq Khamis, Managing Director of Prime Satcom Consulting Ltd stated “Our priority is to provide high quality satellite services that are reliable and durable at excellent value to our customers. While we feel for the people who suffered loss of gas supplies, we are immensely proud to see that our services were an important component to get everyone reconnected in such a short time at such a critical period. We also salute the hundreds of engineers who gave up their Christmas to help reconnect all those people”.

Prime Satcom Consulting Ltd is a premier satellite communications consulting company, based in Luton, Bedfordshire, providing sales, marketing, business development and technical evaluations for manufacturers, service providers and end users. Established in 2003, Prime Satcom Consulting Ltd, a member of the Global VSAT Forum, has provided consultancy services to service providers and Oil Industry monitoring equipment manufacturers since its launch. With over 23 man years experience working with key satellite manufacturers, Prime Satcom Consulting Ltd provides essential experience to the Satellite Industry. Prime Satellite Broadband is a division of Prime Satcom Consulting Ltd supplying high quality satellite services worldwide to FTSE 100 companies as well as to small businesses and home users. Prime Satellite Broadband can be contacted on 01582 806892 or sales@primesatcom.com.

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