UK ground station operator Goonhilly has acquired two teleports in the US.
Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd. this week announced that Satcom Direct’s SD Government has entered into an agreement to sell its Comsat teleports in Southbury in Connecticut and Santa Paula in California to the UK firm.
The terms of the deal were not shared.
The newly-acquired East and West coast US ground stations will be operated and managed by Goonhilly, with the company working with SD as a strategic partner to support its satcom services.
“Goonhilly UK is the ideal group to take the teleports to the next level of capabilities as it continues to invest in the infrastructure upgrades that SD has made,” said Chris Moore, president of Satcom Direct.
“The deal allows us to continue innovating our SD hardware, software, and connectivity services and Goonhilly to focus on the core business of optimizing teleport operations. Once the transition is concluded, the augmented infrastructure will strengthen our global mobility network for our business, government, and military customers, which rely on us for consistent connectivity around the world.”
Ian Jones, Goonhilly CEO added: “We are delighted to have agreed to the sale. Goonhilly and Comsat are two of the most established and respected names in the satellite teleport business, and this brings the opportunity on both sides of the Atlantic to enhance our service offer to all our ground station clients. At the same time, we will be extending our ground-breaking deep space and lunar communications capability. The addition of the award-winning teleports, a group of highly experienced engineers, and the heritage they have for handling complex, highly customized network requirements boosts our offering and gives real added value to our existing and future customers.”
Opened in 1962 and previously owned by BT, Goonhilly closed in 2008. Located in Cornwall, the site was taken over by Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd in 2014, with the new owners raising £24 million ($31.8m) from billionaire Peter Hargreaves to install deep space antennas and build the first private deep space communications network. The teleport operates a 2,000 sqm (21,500 sq ft) on-site data center available to customers that opened in 2019.
In the US, Comsat has operated the two teleports since 1976. The original Comsat was founded by the US government in 1963, with the two teleports as part of its Comsat Mobile division.
Comsat was acquired by Lockheed Martin in 2000 and then sold to Telenor in 2002. Telenor Satellite Services was then acquired by Apax Partners that same year and renamed Vizada, which was then sold to the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS, later renamed Airbus) in 2011.
Satcom Direct Communications, Inc. acquired Airbus DS SatCom Government in 2016, renaming the unit to Satcom Direct Government, but would do business as 'Comsat' to acknowledge its heritage as part of Comsat Mobile.
While it has divested its teleports, SD still operates a 2,320 sqm (25,000 sq ft) data center in Florida’s Brevard County.