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Case Study

Local Japanese Government Invests in IPSTAR Business Continuity Service

IPSTAR Business Continuity Service in Japan

Japan lies in a highly disaster prone area, on the north western part of the notorious Pacific Ring of Fire, which is associated with a nearly continuous string of volcanoes, tectonic fault lines, and oceanic trenches. The tectonic area around Japan is extremely unstable with 10 percent of the world's volcanoes concentrated in this region. On average, more than 1,500 earthquakes occur annually in Japan. Over the past 50 years, Japan has experienced around 25 earthquakes of a magnitude greater than 6.5 on the Richter scale.


During the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, prefectural governments in the affected regions had their telecommunication facilities including Internet access and telephony links cut off. In order to prepare for such situations, the prefectural government of Ehime wanted a solution that could continue providing vital communication services in the face of any future disaster. The prefecture government aims to keep the communication links with its regional offices up and running, so that local situations can be reported back and information and instructions for disaster prevention and relief efforts can flow out. The prefecture government plans to be well prepared for any future earthquakes that will occur.

The Solution

Ehime prefecture found a perfect solution in IPSTAR broadband satellite service for the provision of high bandwidth backup communication links which matched their exact requirements. The prefectural government has installed six IPSTAR UTs (User Terminals), one in their Disaster Prevention Headquarters in Matsuyama and the others in different regional offices such as in Uwajima. A dedicated workstation has been deployed with each IPSTAR UT to monitor the satellite link, which will eventually be used to collect and broadcast disaster related information in the event of disasters. The IPSTAR link is a total backup solution that can be used for Internet and other services the moment the terrestrial link is cut off. The prefectural government intends to ready multiple methods of communication to face any kind of disaster.

Proof-of-Concept

The lower cost of IPSTAR broadband satellite over other conventional satellites makes the implementation of disaster prevention and backup networks feasible not only at the national level, but also at local administration level. Ehime is the first prefecture in Japan to make use of the advantages of IPSTAR to implement satellite-based backup links for Internet access. Mr. Taira Akizuki, Ehime Prefecture's Chief of Risk Management Section said, "We have found the ideal satellite broadband service in IPSTAR to prepare for backup communication services. During our tests and deployments with IPSTAR, we have found that the service can reliably provide the Internet bandwidth required to run the services of our Disaster Prevention HQ and help us maintain communication with our regional offices when other means of telecommunication are not available."

IPSTAR Country Representative of Japan, Mr. Yasuto Tanaka, commented that, "Local governments generally preferred to use closed private networks in the past. However, after seeing the important role the Internet played in the aftermath of Great East Japan Earthquake, especially the active use of social media for emergency communications, Ehime Prefecture has decided to use an open Internet based network over satellite. This is a good example for other prefecture governments to follow to prepare for disasters. In the past, the high cost of conventional satellites only allowed backup links to be setup in critical locations at a national level. However with cost effective broadband Internet service from IPSTAR, satellite backup links are now feasible at local and municipality levels."

 

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