Technicians and engineers from Telecoms Sans Frontieres have arrived in Peru to help the earthquake recovery effort. The five-strong team will deploy satellite telephone and internet access in three centres – at Pisco, where the quake hit hardest, Ica and Chincha.
Till a catastrophe happens we take telecom facilities for granted. Only missing them for few days, particularly when in the middle of a disaster, reminds us how badly a community needs to communicate. The aftermath of a disaster is not the ground to compete by different telecom players. It is an environment all players, the operators, regulators, state, CSOs, INGOs etc should come together to reconnect the unconnected. The recovery from the disaster depends largely on how effectively and fast telecom facilities can be restored.
Today the telecom regulators cannot afford not being prepared for such situations. The fast recovery needs dramatic changes in the regulatory environment. For instance, there may be communication equipment essential to bridge the communication gap, but prohibited from importing. Are the NRAs in our region ready to face such situations?