Can anyone get these people to acknowledge what WISP's have done? Or
are we really the ugly stepchild??


This is from The Jeff Pulver Blog at:

September 09, 2005
VoIP: Proving to be Effective in Katrina Emergency

Special thanks to Jim Kohlenberger of the VON Coalition for maintaining the 
following list of stories.

According to Jim, "This is a summary of some of the ways the IP Communications 
industry is responding to Katrina
(largely based on news stories and company releases). It turns out that the 
ability to set up VoIP services on the
fly, from any network, has proved to be critical in an emergency. The industry 
has stepped forward to help FEMA,
the Red Cross, and the Army communicate, to help connect the refugees in the 
astrodome, to help field calls for
telethons, to help first responders communicate, to help connect hospitals who 
are disconnected, and to help
utility workers working to restore services communicate with each other. It is 
quite an amazing story, and I know
it is just the beginning."

If there are other stories you are aware of and would like to see included in 
this growing summary, please send me
a paragraph, a news release, or any other background and I will share it with 
Jim. Also, please feel free to
include stories from bloggers where IP Communications has been used to help.

VoIP: Proving to be Effective in Katrina Emergency

IP based voice communications are playing a critical role in the aftermath of 
Hurricane Katrina. The unique
mobility and decentralized aspects of VoIP are being utilized by FEMA, 
hospitals, emergency responders, for
telethon call centers, and utility workers who are restoring service.

VoIP Delivers Free Calling for FEMA, 1,000 VoIP Lines in the AstroDome, and 
Phone Service For Refugees. AT&T is
establishing IP-based calling centers where directed by the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA) to give
evacuees and emergency workers access to free calling. The first of these 
centers is expected to be operational
within a week. In Houston, AT&T is working with Avaya, Cisco Systems and SBC to 
establish a communications network
for refugees moved to the Astrodome. The coalition of VoIP companies will 
deliver local, long distance and Internet
service to refugees. More than 1,000 phone lines, as well as a data 
infra-structure, will be available near the
Astrodome. AT&T’s IP infrastructure will make Houston the hub for a VoIP 
network to support refugee camps
throughout the region. (INFOWORLD, September 02, 2005)

VoIP Being Deployed By Mobile Command Center For Fire, Rescue and Law 
Enforcement Agencies. In an area of vast
devastation in Mississippi with no traditional phone lines, cell phone or 
public safety radio services, F4W has
established a VoIP network to provide critical communications for relief 
agencies and a lifeline from the disaster
area to the outside world. The Tactical Wireless Emergency Broadband (TWEB™) 
network set up by F4W will provide
secure wireless Internet and VoIP service over several miles to Mobile Command 
Centers and vehicles from fire,
rescue, and law enforcement agencies. The network utilizes Motorola, Tachyon, 
and Panasonic equipment as well as
F4W control software and network devices. (Source: VoIP Magazine, Thursday, 01 
September 2005)

Internet Telephony Keeps Baton Rouge Hospital In Touch. Baton Rouge General 
Hospital, who still had a broadband
connection after the hurricane but no long distance, called up Vonage and asked 
for help. Vonage helped them get
set up with VoIP so the hospital can dial out of Baton Rouge. The hospital 
ultimately used nine voice-over IP
converters and wireless-enabled laptops with VoIP software installed for long 
distance communications and to set up
a public branch exchange for communications within the hospital and sharing 
patient data. (Government Technology,
Aug 31, 2005, By Corey McKenna, 

Satellite Based VoIP Helping Put Utility Repair Crews In Touch To Restore 
Service. Siemens Enterprise Networks is
working with a power utility in Mississippi that has been sending repair crews 
into the field with
voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones to make wireless calls via a 
satellite network. The VoIP system has been
the main means of voice communications for utility crew supervisors in the 
field. In this case, Siemens acted as
integrator to arrange for satellite network bandwidth, allowing the users to 
connect to a Siemens IP-based voice
switch in Atlanta. With the Siemens VoIP phones, the workers can make 
five-digit calls over a familiar device to
co-workers without needing special codes for the satellite links.(Source: 
ComputerWorld, “Telecoms face 'one big
mess' in US Gulf Coast region”, Matt Hamblen, Sept, 2 2005)

Rapid VoIP Deployments Help Get Emergency Phone Services Up and Running. The 
Louisiana Department of Health and
Hospitals (DHH) is the first organization to deploy a pre-configured VoIP kits 
to gain phone service and Internet
access in the wake of Katrina. 3Com Corporation is donating the VoIP equipment 
to emergency and government
organizations to support their communications needs in the aftermath of 
Hurricane Katrina. Each kit includes a VoIP
phone system with voice mail and auto attendant, which will enable DHH to 
provide all callers with recorded
information on recovery efforts and to the ability to route calls to the 
appropriate emergency personnel. The phone
systems can also be networked so that calls can be transferred between multiple 
locations. Wireless routers and
other networking equipment will further enable reliable communication until the 
state's infrastructure is repaired.
(Source: 3Com Release 9/1/05)

VoIP Used To Rapidly Set Up Red Cross NBC Telethon For Relief. When NBC hosted 
a Red Cross telethon, Teletech used
its VoIP call center technology to answer an anticipated half a million calls 
from donors making pledges during the
telethon. (September 02, 2005, Katrina Red Cross Concert By RICH TEHRANI, 

VoIP Service Proves Critical For Cajundome Refugees. Although only 70 miles 
from New Orleans, Lafayette was spared
the worst of the storm and now is caring for refugees. Volunteers at the 
Cajundome refuge center in Lafayette in
less than 8 hours help set up a 100 meg connection and a wireless access 
point...by the next afternoon a VOIP
system had been put in place. The VOIP phones have proven invaluable. ...To 
actually hear the voices of friends or
to contact the world which mostly still exists offline is crucial.” (Lafayette 
Coming Together)

“Web Phones for Shelters” Project Launched. Volunteers in Lafayette Louisiana 
have come together to help the
refugees from Katrina communicate with family and friends. Web Phones for 
Shelters is a Project of the Lafayette
Technology Community and the LCT Digital Divide Committee. LCT members have put 
together contacts with concerned
folks at Cisco and IConverge to make available internet-based phones which will 
allow refugees to make free phone
calls anywhere in the country to friends and family. Cisco is providing the 
internet phones which will backhaul to
IConverge softswitches which will connect the phones to phone network. (Source:

Red Cross Equips a Fleet of SUV’s with VoIP For Mobile Voice Services. the Red 
Cross has equipped a fleet of SUVs
with IP communications equipment and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) 
antennas for satellite communications.
Each vehicle in the fleet includes Wi-Fi equipment, VoIP phones and wireless 
laptops to set up a communications
center. In some areas these vehicles provide the only voice communication 
available. (Source: New Telephony, VoIP
Demonstrates Strengths in Katrina Aftermath, 09/06/2005)

Army uses VoIP to Communicate. The Army has used satellite as the Internet link 
for a VoIP network that transmits
terrestrially on National Guard Internet bandwidth. (Source: New Telephony, 
VoIP Demonstrates Strengths in Katrina
Aftermath, 09/06/2005)

Posted by jeff at September 9, 2005 06:46 AM

Best regards,
 Barry                          mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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