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Texas Hires HughesNet

For many state governments, HughesNet provides the perfect solutions for certain broadband services. Several states have hired Hughes for this; Texas is the latest.

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Last week, the Texas Department of Information Resources awarded a multi-year contract to HughesNet. This was for managed network services.

Tony Bardo, an Assistant Vice President for Government Services at Hughes, called the new contract an important milestone. Usually, state governments award separate contracts for each service. And almost all go to incumbent vendors. Lately, though, several states have begun to hire multiple vendors for each service. This, Bardo says, creates opportunities for late arrivals such as HughesNet.

It may help you to know the meanings of these terms. With that in mind, we’re here to help: SD-WAN means ‘software defined wide area network’. SD networks rely on automated software programs for tasks that once required physical controls. A WAN is a large information network that does not depend on signals from a single location.

The New Kid in Town

Bardo said, “These state contracts are just now beginning to emerge and add vendors, and add choice and options. The SD-WAN and the managed broadband network market in the state governments is about to explode, I think.”

HughesNet won its first contract for state managed network services four yeas ago. It was one of three vendors qualifying in Pennsylvania. Since then, Bardo says, HughesNet has won similar contracts from Colorado, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Washington. “I would like to get fifty sets of contracts, and we’re working on it”, Bardo said. “The list is growing as we speak. New Jersey just issued an RFP ( request for procurement) and we’re responding to that… We’re also doing a North Dakota procurement right now.”

What is Texas getting?

You may think of HughesNet as a provider of satellite web connections for sparsely populated rural areas. You might not know the firm also offers managed services over cable, fiber, wireless, and fixed wireless networks, though. And with more than four hundred partners, Hughes can coordinate and manage many other services.

If you need specialized internet services, contact us. You might be surprised at what we can do for you.

Call 1-855-216-0185

For the best deals in home broadband connections, contact Satellite Country. We can help. Call today.

Call 1-855-216-0185

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Will Your Next Driver’s License Be Digital?

Your current driver’s license is a plastic card. Every previous license was a plastic card. So far as you know, your driver’s licenses will always be plastic cards that you’ll carry in your wallet or purse. They couldn’t take any other form, could they?

Man in a car showing his drivers license on his phone

This is about to change. Some states are planning to digitize your driver identity so you can display it on a mobile tablet or phone. The new licenses will feature biometric data absent from your current license, such as fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition. Iowa will lead the way, issuing digital driver’s licenses in 2019. Delaware, Virginia, and Wyoming are conducting limited pilot studies of  digital license technology. Other states have also begin to study the matter.

How will the changes affect you?

Idemia, a company seeking new functions for augmented reality, developed Iowa’s digital license program. Its CEO says the new licenses will be “dynamically connected”. This means they will update driver information in real time, so if your license is suspended or you just reached your 21st birthday, your digital license will be updated to display the information.

If your device is stolen, the thief can’t open your license. Unlocking it requires your biometric data. At the very least, it will require PIN or fingerprint authentication. Without your PIN or biometric data, the thief will never get your personal information.

Your digital license data will be synced with your state’s DMV database. If a cop pulls you over, he can send a message to your phone simply by scanning your license plate. Your response confirms your identity. The signals “shake hands”. The cop can relax when he approaches your car, because he knows who you are. You in turn can be sure he’s not an imposter, because only a real cop could send a signal to your device.

When will you get your first digital driver’s license?

It will be several years, at least, before most states issue digital driver’s licenses. One great hurdle is lack of interoperability, or coordination between state DMV databases. Police in one state will need access to DMV data from another state.

Expect a national interoperability standard to be settled by the middle of the next decade. After this, your driver’s license will exist in cyberspace.


(For all news related to the internet, watch this space. For the most reliable internet connection, talk to us. We can help.)