Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) and the Košice region, Slovakia, have partnered to provide free, high-speed internet to Ukrainian refugees in Eastern Slovakia using Viasat’s proven, satellite-enabled, Community Internet system — Viasat Community Internet (VCI) sites are being installed across Eastern Slovakia in areas of greatest need for refugee connectivity.
Slovakia has embraced thousands of refugees daily since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict. One of the major challenges refugees face when arriving in Slovakia is access to the internet for online news, digital tools and resources. Viasat’s high-speed Community Internet service provides an opportunity for refugees to communicate with loved ones and stay informed.
Additionally, the Company is working with local partners to ensure installations of its Community Internet service sites are meeting the refugees’ needs. This humanitarian effort is powered by the KA-SAT network, which has provided satellite-based, high-speed internet to thousands of Ukrainians for a decade.
The Viasat Community Internet service implements a public Wi-Fi hotspot connected and enabled by a Viasat satellite to deliver free high-speed internet service to these refugee communities that previously had little or no internet connectivity. The Viasat Community Internet service seeks to improve the quality of life of unserved and underserved individuals and families by giving them better access to online tools, resources and streaming video.
“Today we are demonstrating our mission to provide high-quality connectivity across the globe by helping Ukrainian refugees. By partnering with the Košice region, we can provide a much-needed resource to Ukrainians during this incredible time of need,” said Evan Dixon, president of global fixed broadband at Viasat. “Our satellite-based Community Internet service enables us to connect tens of thousands of refugees at no cost to them so they can access high-speed internet to remain connected to family and friends and follow current events.”
Rastislav Trnka, president of the Košice region, “The Košice region is at the front line of helping people of Ukraine, given that it is located in the immediate vicinity of the Ukraine-Slovakia border. Since the beginning of this conflict, we have been helping people driven from their homes by operating humanitarian warehouses, offering information points at borders and stations, providing free transport and accommodations in emergency facilities for war refugees and coordinating volunteers. So far, we have provided accommodations across emergency facilities to more than 5,500 residents of Ukraine. We welcome Viasat’s high-speed satellite internet which allows us provide an opportunity for refugees to immediately access critical information and communications.”