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 Friday, September 07, 2007

The United Nations telecommunications agency has deployed 50 satellite terminals in remote areas of southern Peru as part of its efforts to restore vital emergency communication links to the region in the wake of last month's deadly earthquake.

The 50 "plug and play" terminals, which are portable devices the size of a small suitcase, allow users to make calls to telephones, access the Internet and provide other voice, data and video services, such as telemedicine.

The Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said in a statement released today that the terminals are being deployed to areas where telecommunications were severed because of the damage caused by the quake. Rescue operations in Peru have been hampered by the often mountainous terrain.

"We take very seriously the role of telecommunications in mitigating disasters," Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau.

"Whenever a country is affected by a disaster, we quickly mobilize and dispatch transportable telecommunications resources that can be used for general communications by government authorities and to provide e-services such as telemedicine that are crucial for saving human lives," he added, voicing hope that the contribution would help Peru cope with the recent massive earthquake.

For more information, go to Scoop Independent News at http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0709/S00183.htm