Alternatives for emergency communications systems
| 07.12.2007 | 07:17:02 | Views: 3228 | ID:
July 12 '07: A new post on Continuity Central by Dr. Jim Kennedy, NCE, MRP, MBCI, CBRM, Business Continuity Services Practice Lead and Consulting Member of Technical Staff for Lucent Technologies has illustrated alternatives for establishing emergency communications systems after a disaster. Dr. Kennedy wrote that relying on traditional lines of communication such as land-lines and cell phone networks hinders a company, organization, or government's ability to relay critical information in a timely manner.
Kennedy writes, "every year, companies and emergency planners face the problem of providing continued communication before, during and after a disaster," but that relying on traditional phone-lines and cell phones usually frustrates responder operations because "an almost total loss of the ability to communicate to the outside world. Power is lost, telephone services are discontinued, and cell phone service is either non-existent or is so congested that it takes hours to get a call through."Kennedy said that a first alternative for line-of-site communication operations could be Infrared which can provide high-speed short-distance information-sharing capabilities. "This solution provides low-cost, high-spped wireless connectivity for a variety of last-mile approaches." A second alternative is microwave transmission which can be "used if a company needs to connect two buildings together that are spaced farther apart than the conventional infrared can operate (i.e. in excess of 1000m). Microwave also provides a data, voice and video transmission." Third would be satellite communications like Iridium that can serve small and medium business well because of the "various speed and pricing options, which make it a very attractive alternative or mitigation strategy." Similar to satellite systems are Very Small Aperture Terminal or VSAT systems which use "an earthbound station used in satellite communications of data, voice and video signals." However they tend to be very expensive.
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