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 Friday, February 03, 2012

The January meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on Disaster Relief Systems, Network Resilience and Recovery (FG-DR&NRR).

A spate of recent natural disasters has underlined the need for preemptive disaster-response planning. ICT networks must be resilient enough to withstand disasters, but have also proven to be pivotal in providing relief to the people affected by major climatic fluctuations.

The Focus Group will coordinate ITU-T’s current work in this field, and will expand this work into two important new areas: (1) disaster relief for individuals (to notify relatives, friends or employers of a victim’s situation) and (2) disaster relief guidance (to show victims the routes to evacuation shelters, home, etc.).

 For these types of standardized emergency communications to exist, ICT network resilience and recovery capabilities need to be such that networks can resume normal service quickly after disaster strikes. TSAG has thus directed the Focus Group to identify all the standardization requirements of network resilience and recovery; a study which may extend beyond current ITU work in this field.

The Focus Group’s scope is as follows:

  • identify requirements for disaster relief and network resilience and familiarize the ITU-T and standardization communities with those requirements;
  • identify existing standards and existing work related to the requirements mentioned above;
  • identify any additional standards that may need to be developed and identify future work items for specific ITU-T Study groups and related actions;
  • encourage collaboration among ITU-T Study Groups, in particular SG2, SG5, SG13, SG15, and SG17, ITU-R, ITU-D and relevant organizations and communities, including the PCP/TDR.

The Focus Group will collaborate with worldwide relevant communities (e.g., research institutes, forums, academia) including other SDOs and consortia.

Comments invited by 10 February 2012

The group’s Terms of Reference are subject to consultation. The Membership is therefore invited to send comments to bruce.gracie@ic.gc.ca (TSAG Chairman), with copy to tsbtsag@itu.int or to t09tsagall@lists.itu.int (TSAG general mailing list), by no later than Friday, 10 February 2012.

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Friday, February 03, 2012 9:03:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 17, 2007
 Friday, November 23, 2007

A new report from ITU-T shows how Information and communications technologies (ICTs) contribute to global warming, but also how they can be used to monitor climate change, to mitigate its effects, to improve energy efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions in other sectors of the economy. The report -- ICTs and Climate Change -- is the third in the new series of Technology Watch Briefing Reports, launched by ITU-T in October 2007. It has been submitted to TSAG for further discussion at its upcoming meeting, 3-7 December. It is planned that an ITU symposium on this topic will be held in 2008.

Since 1970, the production of greenhouse gases has risen by more than 70 per cent, and this is having a global effect in warming the planet, causing changing weather patterns, rising sea-levels, desertification, shrinking ice cover and other worrying long-term effects. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) foresees a further rise in average global temperatures of between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees centigrade by 2030. Climate change is a concern for all of humanity and requires efforts on the part of all sectors of society, including the ICT sector. Although ICTs contribute only an estimated 2.5 per cent of total greenhouse gases, this share is set to grow as usage of ICTs expands globally, growing at a faster rate than the general economy.

ICTs are thus part of the cause of global warming, but they can also be part of the solution, for instance through the promotion of carbon displacement technologies. ICTs are also vital in monitoring the spread of global warming. One specific contribution ICTs can make is through the substitution of travel by electronic forms of communication, such as telephone calls, email or video-conferencing, all of which benefit from ITU-T¡¯s standardization work. In particular, high-performance video-conferencing, or telepresence (the topic of the second Technology Watch Briefing Report), can give the impression of 'being there, without going there'. Furthermore, ITU-T itself is also contributing to a greener future through its decision to make ITU-T Recommendations freely available online. In the mid 1990s, more than one million publications were printed by ITU but, with free Recommendations now available in electronic form, this has been cut to just a few thousand that are still printed, and carbon emissions from transport of printed copies and CD-ROMs has been greatly reduced.

Friday, November 23, 2007 2:16:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 31, 2006

An ITU-T and OASIS workshop on public warning, October, attracted 80 participants and saw agreement on a number of ways forward. The event signaled a further stepping-up of cooperation between the two organizations.

The OASIS Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), which was successfully demonstrated at the event, has been submitted to ITU for international standardization, officials from both organizations confirmed. Publication as an ITU-T Recommendation will help ensure that CAP is deployed worldwide giving technical compatibility for users across all countries. This action had strong support from the workshop.

The goal of public warning is to reduce the damage and loss of life caused by a natural or man-made hazard event. CAP allows a warning message to be consistently disseminated simultaneously over many warning systems to many applications.

Attendees, from policy makers to manufacturers to personnel involved in emergency management also agreed among other things to: “Coordinate actions among all relevant players to ensure that standards-based, all-media, all-hazards public warning becomes an essential infrastructure component through platforms such as the Telecommunications for Disaster Relief and Mitigation - Partnership Co-ordination Panel (PCP-TDR)”.

The workshop produced a number of other proposals, which will shortly be available from the event’s website.

In a separate announcement, OASIS said that it was happy to welcome ITU as an event supporter for its upcoming Adoption Forum, London, 27-29 November. ITU members are invited to attend the conference, titled Managing Secure Interactions in Sector Applications, at the reduced rate of EUR100 per day.

The announcements follow the June 2006 approval as internationally recognized ITU-T Recommendations of OASIS’ SAML as ITU-T X.1141 (Security Assertion Markup Language) and XACML as ITU-T X.1142 (Extensible Access Control Markup Language). See previous story.

 

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 4:03:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 02, 2006
ITU-T is hosting a workshop and demonstration together with OASIS on Advances in ICT Standards for Public Warning, 19-20 October.

In the wake of the Tsunami disaster that took place on 26 December 2004 and major natural catastrophes that hit in 2005 standards development organizations (SDOs) have stepped up work on public warning in concert with organizations dealing with disaster management, prevention and relief. Emphasizing the practical application of standardized public warnings, the workshop will review relevant work by SDOs, identify standardization gaps, and identify key players to collaborate on further work as needed.

The two-day event will feature an emergency management interoperability demonstration of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) OASIS standard, as well as presentations by various players active in public warning and discussion of relevant technology issues that may also have public policy implications. 

 

Monday, October 02, 2006 9:24:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 13, 2006
A new standard from ITU-T will give the ability to multicast in VoIP. The feature could be especially useful in order to provide early warnings in disaster scenarios say experts.

ITU-T Recommendation H.460.21 provides a message broadcast mechanism in H.323 systems, which are widely deployed worldwide for Voice over IP (VoIP) communications. This mechanism is akin to that of Cell Broadcast for mobile systems and can be used by network operators and service providers to deliver early warning messages to a large number of users without causing overload of the underlying network infrastructure.

Since the method utilizes standard Internet multicast procedures, the feature may be used on a wide scale to reach any number of H.323 endpoints throughout the world. Thus, the feature could be used to equal effect as an intercom like function in an enterprise or a notification system to geographically dispersed terminals.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:36:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 05, 2006

As part of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of ITU-T, you are invited to vote for the most influential standards work from ITU-T.

ITU work is behind many of the worlds most prevalent information and communications technologies. Choose here from our shortlist which you think has best shaped the ICT world of today, or feel free to suggest your own idea.

 

 

Monday, June 05, 2006 8:05:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 20, 2005

At the recent meeting of Study Group 11 a number of documents relating to the international emergency preference scheme (IEPS) were consented.

IEPS aims to provide authorised emergency personnel a higher probability of successful communication under high network load conditions such as those that might occur in an emergency.

Among the topics dealt with at the meeting were signalling for support of IEPS to comply with ITU-T Recommendation E.106. E.106 provides guidelines for extending national emergency preference schemes across international boundaries.

Because Recommendations in this area have potential national and regulatory policy implications, it was agreed to consider the documents under the traditional approval process (TAP) rather than under the alternative approval process (AAP).

ITU maintains a webpage detailing its work in the area of Emergency Telecommunications.

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 10:30:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 16, 2005

More technical standards in support of telecommunications for disaster relief (TDR) and early warning (EW) should emerge following a decision by the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). The decision to create an action plan addressing this topic was also influenced by the joint Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT)/ITU meeting on the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) for disaster reduction held in Bangkok, 28 February 2005.

TSAG encouraged all ITU-T study groups to increase related standardization activity and production of other materials such as handbooks.

ITU-T Recommendations already produced in the field include specifications that allow for preference to be given to emergency calls in a disaster situation. Additionally, ITU- T earlier established a Partnership Coordination Panel on Telecommunications for Disaster Relief (PCP TDR) that includes representatives of different ITU Study Groups, other standards developing organizations (SDOs), intergovernmental agencies and relief organizations, and aims at providing a channel to exchange views and experiences on TDR.

Monday, May 16, 2005 4:33:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2005

A new standard developed by Study Group 9 will help to facilitate communication over IPCablecom networks in disaster situations. 
Even when not directly damaged, networks may have to cope with congestion, overload or the need to be rapidly extended due to limited bandwidth.

The Recommendation - J.260 - defines requirements for authentication and priority mechanisms in IP-based cable architectures. It ensures, that even in times of limited bandwidth, emergency communication is transmitted without problems.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:56:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU recently lent its expertise in the field of disaster recovery and mitigation to a high-level global gathering looking to develop an early warning system for tsunamis.

A delegation headed by Houlin Zhao, director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) and representatives of the radiocommunication and development bureaux attended The Ministerial Meeting on Regional Cooperation on Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements, Phuket, Thailand, 28-29 January.

Envoys from 43 countries and 13 international organizations attended the event hosted by the Thai foreign ministry, to discuss arrangements for an early warning system that could help to reduce the scale of devastation following any future tsunami.

Ahead of the event Zhao said: “I believe that ITU has much to offer in the development of an early warning system for tsunamis. This tragedy has, once again, underscored the fact that information and communication technologies are a vital component in disaster relief and prevention. We have a proven track record in the field of disaster management, and I hope that we can offer some valuable advice here. The dissemination of information using these technologies is a crucial part of all disaster relief strategies. It is impossible to imagine disaster relief today without radios, fixed-line telephony and mobile phones. And now the Internet has also proved that it has an important role to play, supporting the more traditional media of radio and television.

“It is very unfortunate that it took a disaster on this scale to wake the world up to the need for an early warning system in this area. But, this meeting should serve to spearhead and coordinate in the most efficient manner the very necessary work towards a system that will reduce the devastating effects of such an event in the future.”

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Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:50:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |