Magazine article American Banker

Satellite Net Links Units of Ky. Bank

Magazine article American Banker

Satellite Net Links Units of Ky. Bank

Article excerpt

Searching for an alternative to its land-locked local telephone company, Trans Financial Bancorp has become the latest to join a coterie of banks that have installed their own satellite communications networks.

Officials at Trans Financial, a $1.2 billion-asset institution based in Bowling Green, Ky., said the move was driven by the bank's need to improve its network service quality.

"With the terrestrial communications lines, response time on the network was not what we wanted and [repair] time was far from what we wanted," said Terry Goettsch, executive vice president of information technology. "These are common problems, and we feel like we've found a relatively uncommon way to fix them."

Cost of Hardware a Deterrent

While several large financial institutions, including First Union Corp., Fleet Financial Group and Barnett Banks Inc., have installed satellite-based networks, the industry as a whole has been slow to give up the practice of leasing land lines from phone companies.

One of the knocks against satellite communications is that a network requires a fairly significant investment in hardware.

Trans Financial, for example, needed to purchase an antenna for each of its 27 branches as well as a communications "multiplexer" that acts as the hub of the network.

A piece of data sent from one office to another flows first from the antenna at the sending office to Trans Financial's multiplexer in Kentucky. …

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