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Backup Satellite Communications

Effective 1/1/2014 Sound Technology Services has added another method to ensure that in times of emergency you can always reach us. In light of the increasingly frequent severe weather of the last few years, and the ever mobile world where we are increasingly dependent on cell phones, we have decided to establish a plan for both unexpected emergencies, and expected events that may result in interrupted access to cellular phone networks or email (since email is now so frequently monitored through cell phones). As a result we have added a satellite powered “Global Phone” to our communications arsenal, much like what you see used by mountain climbers or in Hollywood movies, for its ability to make or receive phone calls from nearly anywhere in the world. An example of why this is important, is because after Hurricane Sandy many areas experienced power outages as well as hardwired and cellular phone access interruptions. With extended power outages and limited cell coverage, communications can be difficult, even though our email systems were un-interrupted during Sandy (our mail and monitoring servers reside in the same building in Manhattan as Google), as were our phone lines (also hosted remotely with a dynamic & automatic failover system with 6 other data centers around the world in the event our primary system goes offline), access to check email and receive phone calls was still impeded as a result of the power and cellular outages. The intent of this additional system is that in the event of a natural disaster we have a backup communications method already operational and tested should you need to reach us, or us you.

There are two ways to reach someone via this method, first there is a vSMS (the “v” stands for Very, as in Very Short Message Service) tool on our website (http://www.sounditservices.com/support/) where you can send a 35 character message to be delivered to the phone the next time it is connected (satellite phones do not stay connected and always available like a cellular phone, they must be taken outside with the antenna extended before they are able to establish connectivity), and second you can dial the phone through our switchboard at the extension 911, which will automatically ring you through to the phone if it is connected, or to leave a voice mail if it is not.
The way this system is to be utilized is as an urgent issue “pager” mailbox whenever cellular and or landlines are unavailable to us. Should you have an urgent issue or emergency, but are unable to reach us via standard methods, and you are able to access our website, you should write a very short message (including name and phone number) and submit the message on our site. Alternatively, if you are unable to reach our website or need to leave a more detailed message than you can fit into 35 characters, call our office line, 203-548-7659 and dial extension 911 and wait to be connected. We will then dial in once every couple hours to check for any messages, and respond as soon as possible. Important, Always email or leave a message in a regular voice mailbox for us in addition to this. Email and voice mail will always be the preferred and most reliable method to reach us. This system is essentially a satellite pager, with the ability to return calls from the pager (and get online, at sub-dialup connection speeds, if required). However unlike a pager, this system does not passively notify us of waiting messages, and must instead be actively checked (think of it like going to the post office to check your P.O. Box for mail, Mail may be there waiting for you, but until you go you don’t know, vs regular mail, like email, that gets delivered to your door).

We will send out notifications of times we will be actively monitoring this system, but as a general practice it will be checked at least 4 times a day anytime access to regular phone or email is going to be unavailable to us for more than 2 hours, and situationally dependent. Additionally will make every attempt to set an appropriate automatic email reply notifying you that we may be unable to monitor email and or phones as normal, and will be activating the use of this system for a period of time.

As always, If you have any questions please call or email us

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