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Satellite Associations Unite To Advance Education and Training Programs
GVF and SBCA Agree to Jointly Offer DBS and VSAT Installation & Maintenance Certification Courses

Washington, DC, September 13, 2005 -- In a joint announcement made during IBC 2005,the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association (SBCA) and the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) announced that the organizations have launched a global program that will strengthen delivery of installation training for direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and interactive broadband satellite systems. The goal of the partnership of two leading satellite communications trade associations is to raise international earth station installation standards.

“The satellite broadcasting and telecommunications industry is rolling out state-of-the-art systems and services across the world – and at a faster pace than at any time in history,” GVF and SBCA directors said in a joint statement. “It is imperative that certification programs be rolled out in parallel to ensure the highest quality of satellite earth station installations.”

GVF and SBCA are, respectively, the U.K.- and U.S.- based non-profit trade associations of the satellite communications industry. The organizations have been actively developing and providing highly synergistic education and training programs for satellite communications professionals. While the SBCA programs have been focused on the DBS sector in the U.S., the GVF training has been tailored for Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) markets worldwide. Furthermore, the instructors for each organizations’ education and training initiatives share common skill sets that apply to both programs.

In recognition of these synergies – and with immediate effect – the two organizations have co-ordinated their education and training programs, as follows:

1)  Cross training of SBCA and GVF instructors has been authorized, enabling certified SBCA and GVF instructors to    deliver both organizations’ courses;

2)  Joint delivery of SBCA and GVF courses; and

3)  Administrative functions for both organizations’ courses are being co-ordinated to permit more efficient participation by instructors and trainees.

The co-ordinated rollout of the SBCA and GVF courses comes at a time when satellite communications services are being delivered at unprecedented levels, both in developed and developing nations. With larger volumes, system and service costs have become even more competitive, attracting new customers and increasing demand for qualified installers.

Millions of DBS systems have been installed for residential and commercial customers, and more than one million VSAT terminals have been deployed worldwide for large, medium and small enterprises. In addition, new interactive broadband satellite services are being provided to small office/home office subscribers and residential customers. 

“Satellite’s unique ability to provide coverage to an entire nation or region with broadcasting and telecommunications services makes this industry particularly well suited to addressing increased demand for digital solutions,” the organizations said. “The SBCA and GVF agreement aims to ensure that the demand for quality installations is met with a supply of technicians who are trained and tested to national and international industry standards.”

The Course Offerings

Providing an industry endorsed benchmark of knowledge for the installation of satellite products and services, NSTP was formed by SBCA and its member companies in 2001. SBCA’s Education Working group is comprised of individuals from member companies dedicated to improving education and training in the satellite industry.

SBCA currently offers two levels of NSTP certification: Level 2 Residential Satellite Installation and the two-day, hands-on Level 3 Commercial Satellite Installation. These courses are updated regularly and cover all the knowledge necessary to complete a professional home installation and a professional commercial installation. SBCA certification is good for a period of two years. Installers may recertify for Level 2 Residential Installation Certification online.

The GVF VSAT Installation & Maintenance Training Course is the global industry standard for training installers of bi-directional satellite earth stations. It was created by a consensus of volunteers serving in the GVF Education & Training Working Group (E&TWG), whose mission is to identify, formulate and share knowledge that is beneficial to the VSAT industry, its shareholders and stakeholders. The course represents a comprehensive set of instruction ranging to full VSAT implementation.

Training is currently offered for four levels of competency: GVF Preview Web-based preview; Level 1 – One-day VSAT Basics; Level 2 – Two-day classroom Fundamentals of VSAT Technology; and Level 3 – Hands-On VSat Installation and Maintenance.

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The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association is the national trade organization representing all segments of the satellite industry. It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of video, audio, data, music, voice, interactive, and broadband services. Additional information can be found at