Deployable network soon

Deployable network soon

Govt to install separate telecom system for all-weather conditions

In order to provide an effective communication network during natural disaster in the country, the government is planning to develop a separate telecom system which can be installed easily and in all-weather conditions.

“A rapidly deployable multi-protocol wireless communication system inter-operable across all the services that are engaged in disaster management should be developed” said the latest report of the working group on the Telecom Sector for the 12th plan (2012-2017).

The Department of Telecom’s (DOT) move to develop separate but easily deployable network came in the background of failure of telecom network during the major disaster including the earthquake that hit Sikkim in 2011. During the devastating earthquake in Sikkim that killed over hundred people and left several homeless, most of the telecom networks were paralysed leading to chaos in relief measures.

The DoT proposed a budget of Rs 50 crore for the development of the proposed system, and suggested to assign the task either to the government agencies or private entities.

“The base stations of this network should be able to switch calls from police, civil services, medical teams and also connect to public network and commercial phones to enable all agencies deployed during the disaster management to communicate seamlessly, across, within and with each others’ group”, says the report.

With many countries across the world having such easily deployable cell phone system, the report also said that such system can also be studied for developing an indigenous one.

As a policy, during disasters and natural calamities, there should be at least 100 cell phone and fixed line numbers given to disaster management agencies by every service provider who should receive guaranteed services like hotline, says the report.

With the Indian telecom sector growing fast, the DoT has already started the process of setting up several units to secure its network. The Union Cabinet last year had approved the setting up of ‘Centre for Communication Security Research and Monitoring', to give law enforcement agencies— a free hand to intercept calls and monitor the World Wide Web.

Another import wing started by the DOT was ‘Telecom Testing and Security Certification Centre', to test all kinds of telecom equipment and to ensure that no foreign countries install spyware in the network.

The government is also working to develop and deploy pan-India secured telecom and Internet network exclusively for government use. Fearing hacking of its system, the government wants all such traffic to be routed through the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), a government-supported not-for-profit organisation that facilitates exchange of domestic Internet traffic.

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