Skype’s Disaster Response Platform

Skype’s Disaster Response Platform

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At the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, we’re hosting the Microsoft Vision Center a dedicated facility that not only showcases the latest technology from Microsoft and our partners, but also shows how technology is being used to address many of the world’s most pressing problems. DSC_0125

One of the most visually interesting demonstrations at the center is an offering from Skype in partnership with emergency.lu which addresses the challenge of worldwide rapid response capacity and preparedness for humanitarian emergencies.

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Skype has worked to develop a solution designed to fill the communication gap in the first hours and days after a large-scale disaster.

emergency.lu was launched last December at the UN Headquarters New York, and Skype is now a technical partner supporting the initiative.

The solution provides a multi-layer communications platform consisting of satellite infrastructure and capacity; communication and coordination services; satellite ground terminals for both rapid and long-term deployment; and transportation of equipment to the disaster area within the first 12 to 20 hours.

Skype has develop a specific low bandwidth client which is available as part of emergency.lu and can be downloaded by NGO staff on the ground. The Skype client helps them with coordination and also acts as an alert system to immediately notify experts and the staff working in the affected region.

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emergency.lu offers several benefits to the International Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Community:

  • Rapid response solution for disaster relief and humanitarian operations
  • Complementary solution to the international humanitarian tool-box
  • End-to-end services adapted to the requirements of the international humanitarian community
  • Covers entire service chain including air transport, satellite infrastructure, terminals and services such as Skype
  • Works in close coordination with the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the European Union
  • Global Public Good supported by the Luxembourg Government

You can find out more at: http://www.emergency.lu

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