Like many companies that implemented biometric access control as an early adopter, the biometric solution used by DISH Network had reached end-of-life and the company was searching in the market for a more advanced replacement system. They required new technology that would deliver reliability and accuracy as well as a new provider that could deliver responsive, expert technical support to their access control and surveillance department.

DISH Network was searching for a new biometric access control system that would be fast and reliable for a large employee base of over 5,500 spread across seven different physical facilities throughout the United States. The new system was specified to use the more convenient one-to many (1:N) matching technology over their past use of a limited one-to-one (1:1) match. It must also have flexible authentication options to address some operational differences across a few of the facilities.

The previous system used 1:1 match which relied on the two-factor use of a personal identification number (PIN) plus a fingerprint. Relying on thousands of employees to carry a credential such as a card or to remember a PIN was problematic as they can be lost or forgotten, respectively. The support of these occurrences occupied valuable time for the access control and surveillance department at each facility. With thousands of employees, this was administratively heavy and unproductive.

In contrast, 1:N match identifies an employee’s fingerprint against a central database of users – without the necessity of an external credential such as a card or PIN. Once an employee places his finger on a reader, an extremely rapid search is initiated in order to find and verify a user’s identity in the system – which is completed in a matter of milliseconds.

1:N matching was possible on the previous system, but it could not be relied upon for such a large deployment base across so many facilities.

The Upgrade

Technology: DISH Network conducted a thorough review and bench test against several biometric vendors and their technologies over a span of two months. Of the vendors and technologies reviewed, Suprema’s robust and leading biometric technology proved to exceed their expectations and requirements. The readers’ accuracy, speed and sleek design were the driving elements for their selection. More specifically, DISH Network selected Suprema biometric readers for their higher reliability and accuracy over other devices on the False Rejection Rate and Equipment Failure Rate.

Devices: Suprema’s BioLite Net and BioStation were selected by DISH Network for deployment. With DISH Network, a biometric reader’s authentication options were also a key requirement in the selection process. Both devices were selected for their authentication flexibility for finger, card and/or PIN. The BioLite Net’s PIN option is used by DISH Network to address any users who could not or do not wish to work with a biometric. The BioStation’s card option is used to work in conjunction with HID cards at some key locations. And the BioStation was also placed on the handicap turnstiles for use by anyone with disabilities.

Technical Support: BioConnect’s customer service and team of technical experts, locally based in North America, provided extensive and responsive to suite DISH Network’s technical support requirements for initial installation, deployment and on-going customer support.


“BioConnect was instrumental in successfully getting the whole biometric system upgrade live. Our capability to tap into BioConnect to access identity management applications, technology refreshes, and responsive technical support was a driving force in our selection of the Suprema system,” said
Joe Ahles”

The upgrade was fully deployed by late fall of 2012. The feedback from
DISH Network is that the new Suprema system was extremely simple to transition into. And that Suprema and BioConnect exceeded DISH Network’s requirements for hardware, software and technical support.

“BioConnect was instrumental in successfully getting DISH Network live on the new Suprema system. Our capability to tap into BioConnect to access identity management applications, technology refreshes, and responsive technical support was a driving force in our selection of the Suprema system,” said Joe Ahles, from the Access Control & Surveillance Department at DISH Network.

And Ahles cites on-going BioConnect support as a major resource for him and the entire access control and surveillance department well into the future.

About DISH

DISH Network is a Fortune 200 company that provides over 14 million satellite TV customers with the highest quality programming and technology. DISH Network leads the pay-TV industry in state-of-the-art equipment and technology and provides the most HD and international programming in the USA.