U.S. plans new satellite service in Cuba

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The Office of Cuba Broadcasting is hiring a Miami company to send live broadcasts, audio files, videos and documents into homes throughout Cuba.
The $558,000 project will enhance “the viewing experience for the clandestine viewers and listeners,” according to the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, or OCB.
Users would need a satellite dish measuring at least 18 inches or a satellite antenna to receive the signal.
An important feature of the service, the OCB says, is that users would be able to hide their dishes or antennas from the view of people on the street.
The OCB’s contract with United Teleports, Inc., is scheduled to begin on Aug. 1.
United Teleports, located at 19000 NE 5th Ave. in Miami, will provide “a unique satellite service” that will allow the OCB “to distribute files and live video” throughout Cuba, a June 24 statement of intent shows.
The OCB now sends 24-hour live satellite broadcasts into Cuba.

A document describing reasons for contract with United Teleports states:

Changing to a new satellite at this time is necessary as we need to improve the viewing experience for the clandestine viewers and listeners in the Republic of Cuba of the OCB TV Content. This would greatly build upon the success that OCB has enjoyed over the past 6 years to get the mission critical message to the people of the Republic of Cuba.

United Teleports will receive OCB signals from Miami and Washington, D.C., via Internet, then make them available on demand to users in Cuba.
The company would provide:

  • One video channel
  • One data channel
  • Two audio channels

OCB says it “requires the capability to encrypt programming at certain times. At other times, OCB requires Free to Air (FTA) programming. Contractor shall provide the ability for OCB to turn encryption on and off from the OCB program origin in Miami at its sole discretion. This signal shall pass through the Contractor’s gateway facility and subsequently be uplinked without any intervention or disruption in the broadcast signal.”
The U.S. Agency for Global Media oversees the OCB. The notice of intent, which mistakenly refers to the Agency for Global Marketing, said the agency decided to contract with the Miami company after doing a “comprehensive evaluation” of an “unsolicited proposal” that the firm submitted.

That should be U.S. Agency for Global Media.

United Teleports will be required to set up a system that will have a “unique way of delivering files along with video stream. Data is embedded and not visible outside controlled structure.”
The system will allow for use of a Eutelsat 65A satellite “for easy local antenna concealment.”
Channels will be delivered “through Wifi multicast or wired network as well as baseband video output on receivers.”
“Exact Antenna Size will need to be tested and approved with locally sourced samples for exact definition.”
An OCB document signed June 21 states:

This offering is unique and will offer the Government access to distribute files and live video within the coverage of the satellite proposed by integrating optional data and video on the same carrier. Additionally by being on the same transponders as UDTH, the channel will be embedded within many other general entertainment channels on a platform being able to be received using a small dish (only in the region). United Teleports and ULTRA DTH are the exclusive resellers of bandwidth on the E65W UDTH platform. The high look-angle of the satellite considering the location of the intended audience allows the in-country receiving antenna to be installed in a manner not visible from the street. The service offers an innovative approach to delivering both existing and future requirements through their ability to offer custom and robust solutions for IP and OTT global delivery. In addition, the offeror has extensive experience in transitioning services from in-house or third party suppliers into their distribution environment; this includes migrating large volumes of content and ensuring services are kept on air during transition.

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