Typhoon Tisoy (internationally named Kammuri) brought about strong winds and heavy rainfall to most of the Bicol and outlying regions. This caused major infrastructural and agricultural damages to the said areas.
If major calamities such as this one have proven anything in recent times, it’s that communications is one of the biggest needs that arise during emergencies. Areas become disconnected from each other, making efforts of providing assistance and rescue an arduous task.
But the vision of a connected Philippines shall not be hampered by disasters. Following the effects of the typhoon, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Special Wi-Fi Action Team (SWAT) in collaboration with Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) was deployed to re-establish Free Wi-Fi in areas that were most affected.
Following on from the reports received from the ground, Catanduanes was previously unreachable. In collaboration with the Office of Civil Defense Region 5 and the Philippine Air Force (PAF), the DICT-SWAT was flown to the province where they set up Free Wi-Fi in the Provincial Capitol.
At around 1600H today, the team has successfully set up a Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) therein to help the provincial counterparts and representatives of different agencies connect to Free Wi-Fi and send their reports to their respective central offices. Another terminal was established at the Tabaco Port in Albay.
Meanwhile, at the Free Wifi Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Metro Manila, composite staff-on-duty are working continuously to monitor and bring back up Free Wi-Fi sites that were downed due to the effects of the typhoon.
As of 1700H today, 70 sites have already been restored out of the 238 sites across Luzon Clusters 2 and 3, and Visayas Clusters 1 and 2.
Indeed, communication is aid in times of disasters. This is put forth by our ability to collaborate in the midst of crisis. After all, this is key to overcoming it. ###