[Via Satellite 10-15-2015] On Oct. 14, Eutelsat, Hispasat, Inmarsat, Intelsat, SES, Thuraya and Yahsat, under the umbrella of the EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) and the Global VSAT Forum (GVF), signed a Crisis Connectivity Charter with the global humanitarian community represented by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC).
The charter formalizes terms and protocols designed to accelerate the ability of emergency response teams to access satellite-based communications when local networks are affected, destroyed or overloaded after a disaster. The principles of the charter also include increased coordination to prioritize access to bandwidth for humanitarian purposes during disaster operations, pre-positioned satellite equipment and transmission capacity at times of disaster in 20 high-risk countries in Europe, the Middle-East, Africa and Asia, as identified by the ETC and beyond. Operators will also boost training and capacity building for the humanitarian community around the world.
“The charter seeks to ensure improved access to communications services in humanitarian emergencies, and with satellite services we can save lives. Through the Crisis Connectivity Charter and the ETC network, we endeavor to ensure that by 2020 all those responding to disasters, including affected people, can communicate to respond, recover and redevelop. By mobilizing their members in this way, ESOA and GVF are supporting the ETC in making this vision a reality,” said Jakob Kern, chair of the ETC and chief information officer of the World Food Programme (WFP).
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