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 Workshop on Telecommunications for Disaster Relief
 Geneva, 17-19 February 2003 Contact: 
The ITU-T aims to develop Recommendations that describe and define a telecommunication capability that will facilitate the use of public telecommunication services and systems by authorities for communications during emergency, disaster relief and mitigation operations. This capability, referred to as the emergency telecommunications service (ETS), will enable authorized users organizing and coordinating disaster relief operations to have preferential treatment for their communications via the Public Telecommunications networks. Preferential treatment is particularly important because during disaster events public telecommunication networks often experience infrastructure damage, which combined with high traffic demands causes severe congestion and overload situations.

This workshop focused on the capabilities that have been identified as "telecommunications for disaster relief" (TDR). The workshop was developed in response to a requirement identified at the June 2002 meeting of TSAG to make all ITU members aware of this area of work. The participation of the user community and of other SDOs was sought so that work will proceed on the basis of a broad perspective of overall requirements and activities in progress. However, as with all work in the ITU-T, there is a need for the scope of the work to be established by contributions from both Member States and Sector Members. It is appreciated that not all Member States address the concept of communications for emergency, disaster relief and mitigation operations in the same manner. The workshop was conceived as a means of establishing the potential for creating methods and mechanisms whereby such communications in one country could inter-operate with similar concepts in another country and utilise similar priority and preference schemes. This again emphasises the need for definitive contributions from Member States setting out their requirements and objectives for this topic.

The specific objectives for the workshop were:

  1. Examine potential ETS capabilities operations and requirements that may need to be standardized.
  2. Improve the understanding of user requirements (e.g. governmental and international aid/humanitarian organisations)
  3. Provide an overview of technical work planned and underway.
  4. Examine and summarize the legal, regulatory and policy aspects associated with TDR.
  5. Prepare an action list for standardization and project management across ITU-T Study Groups.

The workshop was also open to participants who are not members of ITU.

The discussions were held in English only.

The workshop was audio webcast. To listen to the archives, please go to:


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