Viasat partners with Slovakian region to help Ukrainian refugees


Ukrainian flags are shown during an anti-invasion protest near the White House in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 26. (Photo by Yohan Marion via Unsplash)

North Coast Current

Global communications company Viasat is working with the Košice region of Slovakia to get high-speed internet access to Ukrainian refugees who are in the eastern area of the country.

The partnership, announced by Carlsbad-based Viasat on April 14, uses the company’s satellite-enabled Community Internet system, which is being installed across eastern Slovakia in areas where the need for refugee connectivity is greatest.

Ukraine Local Updates“Today we are demonstrating our mission to provide high-quality connectivity across the globe by helping Ukrainian refugees,” Evan Dixon, president of global fixed broadband at Viasat, said in a company news release. “By partnering with the Košice region, we can provide a much-needed resource to Ukrainians during this incredible time of need. “Our satellite-based Community Internet service enables us to connect tens of thousands of refugees at no cost to them so they can access high-speed internet to remain connected to family and friends and follow current events.”

Slovakia has allowed thousands of refugees to enter the country daily since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. Košice has provided accommodations for more 5,500 Ukrainian residents, according to Rastislav Trnka, president of the Košice Self-governing Region.

“The Košice region is at the front line of helping people of Ukraine, given that it is located in the immediate vicinity of the Ukraine-Slovakia border,” Trnka explained in Viasat’s announcement. “Since the beginning of this conflict, we have been helping people driven from their homes by operating humanitarian warehouses, offering information points at borders and stations, providing free transport and accommodations in emergency facilities for war refugees and coordinating volunteers. … We welcome Viasat’s high-speed satellite internet which allows us provide an opportunity for refugees to immediately access critical information and communications.”

The effort is powered by KA-SAT, a satellite-based broadband network that provides internet access across Europe.

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