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Teleport Certification Doubled Its Reach in 2018

Posted By Robert Bell, Thursday, January 24, 2019

In 2015 at IBC, WTA introduced the world’s first certification program specifically for teleports. At the time, there were certifications for data centers, for telecommunications equipment, for buildings and much else, but nothing for the “data center with dishes” that is today’s teleport.

Satellite operators asked us for help in qualifying teleports as partners for the delivery of services. Teleport operators wanted a way to distinguish the quality of their operations and facilities from lowball competitors. Responding to demand, we convened a group of experts who developed standards and a detailed evaluation questionnaire.

We asked teleport operators to complete the questionnaire, and after analysis, awarded those with passing scores a Provisional Certification good for one year. It was provisional because it is based solely on self-reported data. But we urged every operator to go to the next step: Full Certification based on an inspection by a WTA-appointed auditor. With the data from the auditor’s report, we then issued certifications at one of four quality tiers, from Tier 4 at the top to Tier 1 at the bottom.

From Early Adopters to the Mainstream

Our first early adopter was the Talia Teleport in Raisting, Germany – and we will always be grateful to them for going first. On the completion of their full audit in 2016, we awarded the facility a Tier 3 certification, signifying a high level of quality in their facility, technology and procedures. Other independent teleports soon followed: Horizon Teleport in Moosburg, Germany; Signalhorn Trusted Network in Backnang, Germany and Leuk, Switzerland; Globecomm in Hauppauge, New York, USA; and Elara Comunciaciones in Mexico City.

Gradually, much larger companies began to apply: Optus and Eutelsat, Arqiva and du, Telenor, Intelsat and Speedcast. From that cluster of early adopters in early 2016, the number of certified teleports grew to 22 by the end of 2017 and then doubled to 46 by the end of 2018. The world’s three top satellite operators decided in 2018 to add a question about certification to their evaluation questionnaires for partner teleports, and end-customer RFPs began to do the same. The growth has been gratifying, but the most important result is not just growth. It is in creating a transparent standard for quality and motivating teleport operators to adopt it, whatever level of price-performance their customers require.

When the Board approved this project in 2015, the mandate was clear. Certification was a means to drive quality improvement across the industry to the benefit of customers and operators alike. We’re glad to have come this far on the journey, and we look forward to finding new ways to help teleport operators raise their game in 2019.

Tags:  certification 

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