Feeds

US Govt backs Iridium relaunch

To prevent public panic over crashing satellites, apparently

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Iridium Satellite, the company that last month bought the remains of failed cellphone company Iridium's satellite and groundstation network for a piffling $25 million, has won the backing of the US Defense Department.

IS' bargain-basement acquisition of Iridium's assets was conditional on winning key government contracts originally held by the collapsed comms company. Yesterday, the Defense Department said it would indeed pick up its original contract and re-sign with IS.

The Defense Department's spin meisters nicely tied in the announcement of the IS deal with last week's crash and burn of an old, long-malfunctioning Iridium satellite in the Earth's atmosphere above the Arctic. The Department spokesman told Reuters that the organisation was striking the deal to prevent "widespread anxiety" over Iridium's 70-odd satellites plummeting to Earth.

So there you have it: the deal is nothing to do with providing the US military and spooks with an advanced communications facility, it's all about preventing the public panicking over Deep Impact and Armageddon doom scenarios.

Yeah, right...

The Pentagon is, of course, simply maintaining a communications network it's been operating since Iridium went live. It already has around 1600 Iridium handsets. And for a deal that's about soothing public fears, the Defense Department contract is remarkably brief: it covers just three months, though a DD spokesman said it was likely to be maintained after that trial period, probably for two years at least. Initially, the Defense Department will pay IS $3 million each month. ®

Related Stories

Iridium satellite crashes over Arctic
Iridium back from the dead

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.