Senate Issues Satellite Phones to 50 Senators
In the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot, the Senate Sergeant at Arms offered senators satellite phones as part of a series of new security measures. According to CBS News, 50 senators took Gibson up on the offer and are now equipped with taxpayer-funded emergency satellite phones.
Gibson said the phones are a security backstop in case of a disaster or man-made event that takes out communications across America. But what exactly are these phones?
What is a Satellite Phone?
Whether you’re an adventure-seeker venturing into remote locations, a business professional working in challenging environments or a public safety officer responding to emergencies, satellite phones are invaluable. These devices can help you stay connected when traditional networks fail us, and they offer a variety of features that regular smartphones just don’t have the capability to match.
According to CBS News, over 50 senators have been issued emergency satellite phones as part of new security measures instituted after the January 6 attack on the Capitol building. The Senate Sergeant at Arms said the phones are intended to provide a backup in the event of a disruption that prevents landline and cellular communication systems from functioning. The phones will be paid for using federal funds, i.e., your tax dollars. While some commentators have rushed to spread conspiracy theories about the phones, others have remained more grounded in reality. To find the right device for you, choose a network that offers maps and detailed coverage information of the areas where you will be traveling and calling.
Why is the U.S. Senate Buying Satellite Phones?
Despite the flurry of speculation, it appears likely that the Senate is simply upgrading its security measures in response to the January 6 Capitol Hill attack. At least 50 senators were offered the satellite phones, and more than half accepted them. The satellite airtime for the devices will be covered by federal funding, which means that senators will pay nothing out-of-pocket.
The new phones are a part of the latest security improvements being rolled out by the Senate Sergeant at Arms, who took over the role shortly after the riot. Gibson testified last month that the new phones were being provided to ensure “a redundant and secure means of communication” in the event of an emergency that disrupts communications across a large area of America.
Cell phone manufacturers like Apple and chipmakers such as Qualcomm are also trying to tap into this market with a new generation of satellite-enabled smartphones that look more like regular phones and don’t have prominent antennae. These kinds of phones are already in use by people like explorers and mountain climbers who are frequently in remote areas that aren’t reachable by terrestrial cell towers.
What are the Benefits of Satellite Phones for the U.S. Senate?
First responders and those who work in remote locations often rely on satellite phones to stay connected. They provide a lifeline when terrestrial communication networks fail due to natural or man-made disasters, and can be used to maintain essential services.
However, the devices have also been subject to a number of false claims on social media platforms like TikTok and Telegram. These claims have ranged from the absurd to the downright conspiratorial.
The truth is that sat phones are simple to use, though they require a clear line of sight for them to work. SatPhoneStore provides quick start guides, an in-depth knowledge base, and live customer support agents to help users navigate the options and choose the right satellite phone for their needs. Whether it’s Iridium, Inmarsat, or Globalstar, satellite phones are powerful tools that can save lives in an emergency situation. Contact us today to learn more about how our products can benefit your organization.
What are the Drawbacks of Satellite Phones for the U.S. Senate?
The news that 50 senators are being issued satellite phones was widely reported by major media outlets. Unfortunately, this information was also taken out of context by conspiracy theorists to promote bogus claims.
While there may be security concerns associated with the Senate’s new communications devices, there is no evidence that they are linked to the disappearance of a railcar of ammonium nitrate or other recent events. Instead, the satellite phones are part of a larger effort to strengthen Capitol security that was initiated after the Jan. 6 insurrection.
According to the Senate Sergeant at Arms, Karen Gibson, the satellite phones are “a security backstop in case a disaster takes out communications in part of America.” The Senate is paying for the devices with federal funds. In addition to the satellite phones, Gibson has offered senators a demonstration space in their home state offices that includes exhibitions of new office security measures such as duress buttons and mail screening devices.