The Venezuelan economy is rapidly deteriorating for a variety of reasons relating to politics & corruption. In March of 2019, Venezuela experienced its largest and most widespread power outage in recent history, 6-8 days without power. What was once an oil-rich country is now a country on the verge of rolling-power outages and famine.
According to PostNetBlocks, a nongovernmental organization that tracks Internet disruptions around the globe, “the Internet outage was massive… at one point, only 2 percent of the country had connectivity.”
Venezuela outlined in red
Banks, stores and restaurants were closed and very few people came out into the public. Refineries and oil plants stalled production and many sea vessels were docked longer than scheduled.Even more concerning, government agencies and hospitals were closed resulting in 52 reports of death.
Daniela Ruiz, who was 39 weeks pregnant, sat uncertainly on a couch in the reception area. Doctors had planned to induce labor because of a lack of fluid in her womb, the 32-year-old communications consultant said. “Because of the lack of electricity, nothing is working,” she said. “We can’t communicate with the doctor; the phones don’t work.” Her husband, Daniel Cisneros, 33, said hehadnever seen anything like the outage.
Going without power and losing connection with the rest of the world is serious business. Both families and large corporations should have the necessary backup to ensure they stay connected, during any crisis.
Tina Blanco, owner of the Florida-based Satellite Phone Store stated, “Power is out in Venezuela, so we are seeing lots of customers from all over the world getting satellite phones and satellite internet to take to Venezuela.”
For example, families that own a satellite phone or a small portable satellite modem can still use the internet the next time the power goes out. Large companies and organizations can set up backup satellite terminals to keep the company connected and running properly, despite whatever is going on around them.
Below are a few satellite terminals many businesses around the world are using to stay connected:
The Cobham Explorer 710 BGAN Terminal offers ultra-portable BGAN communication. It delivers an expected streaming rate of about 650 kbps, sends up to 492kbps over a shared channel, and has streaming capabilities that make it ideal for live video broadcasting from any location on the globe. It also has a built-in SIP server.
The Kymeta KyWay U7 is capable of transmitting and receiving data while on the move, at speeds up to 4Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. It uses a revolutionary Metamaterials-based holographic beam for easy satellite signal and is extremely easy set up. The KyWay is great for Live streaming and Wi-Fi integration.
The Intellian GX60 Maritime Terminal for Inmarsat Fleet Xpress (FX) Ka band satellite network offers download speeds up to 50Mbps. It’s built with an integrated GX modem and is a All-in-One Below Deck Terminal.
A good backup satellite phone for families and businesses is the Inmarsat IsatPhone 2. It has global coverage, Bluetooth, SMS, SOS Emergency button and GPS. It also comes with 24/7 support and a rugged water and shock resistant design.
Who’s to blame for these outages?
Corpoelec, the state electricity company reported there had been “sabotage” of the of the country’s largest source of electricity, the Guri hydroelectric plant in Bolivar. Reinforcements are currently being deployed to various plants around the country to protect the electrical system.
However, for years, experts and workers at the state electric company have warned about a crippling lack of maintenance and the massive exodus of professionals from power plants and other institutions.
Russ Dallen, a Florida-based managing partner at the brokerage Caracas Capital Markets, said the cause of the outage was that the government “stole the money that should have been invested in upgrading the power grid and in buying power plants.”
Whether it’s a lack of upkeep or sabotage, one thing all spectators can agree on is that the outages will continue.
Families and businesses can prepare for the next outage by buying (or renting) a satellite phone, satellite wifi hotspot or satellite terminal and a generator. These devices can ensure they can stay connected during these hard-political times.