The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) agreed with ICO Global Communications and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) to use satellite communications for improved global response in the face of natural disasters.
ICO will provide airtime on its F2 satellite for disaster prevention and effective response in the aftermath of natural disasters through both voice communications and other telecommunication applications, including telemedicine. An hour's airtime will be provided every day for use through ITU to help countries maintain preparedness, provide early-warning information, and elicit quick response. In the event of a disaster, this time will be adjusted according to the demand to facilitate rescue-and-rehabilitation efforts.
"The partnership that we have established is an important milestone towards ITU's effort to save human life," said Dr. Hamadoun Touré, secretary-general of ITU. "Satellite communication provides a platform to deliver a wide range of services and applications even to remote areas. In the digital age, we are able to provide an information communications technology (ICT) lifeline to disaster victims and humanitarian personnel entrusted with coordinating rescue and relief operations, especially when terrestrial communications infrastructure is disrupted, overloaded, or destroyed."
ITU will manage and coordinate emergency telecommunications; CBC will provide content and manage the entrepreneurial skill development program.
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