Real-time information access expected to quicken relief efforts.
Datacraft, Asia’s leading independent IT solutions and Services Company, has been supporting World Vision’s charitable causes across the region since 2004. Most recently during this summer, Datacraft responded to the damages caused by Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan by initiating a donation drive among its employees to help children in the affected areas. To ensure a more sustainable solution, Datacraft has also committed to collaborate with World Vision Taiwan to construct wireless internet service network for communities and schools in the remote areas of central and southern Taiwan so as to facilitate communications in preparation for the next typhoon season.
The wireless Internet services will enable Online Disaster Warning, Interactive Communication for Online Disaster Information Updating and Follow-up Reports on Internet Disaster Relief Actions. During the typhoon period, the Internet has demonstrated its far-reaching capabilities and enabled the immediate mobilisation of numerous private organisations and volunteers for the rescue and disaster relief efforts at the most critical moments. The critical role of the Internet in facilitating communications during the disasters has also attracted the attention of government authorities and has been incorporated in the post-disaster reconstruction plan.
Bill Padfield, CEO of Datacraft Asia said, Datacraft’s partnership with World Vision dates back to 2004 and today, our offices in Asia are sponsoring over 150 children through World Vision. Such sponsorships form part of our Carecraft corporate social responsibility programme, as it is our motto to touch lives and transform their future. I am very pleased to take our partnership with World Vision to the next level. The fact that we can make a difference to people lives by doing what we do best, makes this a truly meaningful project to embark on.
Benjamin Wang, General Manager of Datacraft Taiwan, commented, Internet is playing an extremely important role in disaster rescue efforts. By helping with the construction of wireless internet services in remote areas, we aim to enable real-time disaster information delivery. It is also our hope that the initiative will promote further efforts in implementing more sustainable and viable solutions that would bring quicker relief to affected areas.
Internet penetration rate in remote areas is low. Where Internet facilities are available, they do not support wireless connections or multi-access service due to high wiring costs. Many are also unwilling to pay for the service. Such issues will be resolved when public internet access is enabled upon project completion.
Wang added, We are the only systems integrator honored as the ‘Best Choice for Network Integration’ in the ‘IT Best Choice’ in March 2009, in an online voting hosted by the Institute for Information Industry. Such recognition spurs us on to accomplish greater achievements. It is our hope that Datacraft Taiwan can contribute to our community by utilising our professional expertise.
This collaborative effort with World Vision Taiwan would require Datacraft to construct wireless networks for the 20 most vulnerable community activity centres or elementary schools in remote areas. Targeted to complete before the arrival of the next typhoon season, the facilities will provide stable Internet access so that residents in both the urban and rural areas can access online information in real-time in addition to the conventional media of television broadcast and telephones. They will also be able to communicate effectively via internet, for example, to appeal for assistance. For visitors at the mountainous areas, the open wireless internet services will enable access to the updated weather analysis.
Meanwhile, Datacraft Taiwan has set up a volunteer group for technology support; comprising 18 Datacraft highly qualified engineers who are Cisco Certified Internetwork Experts (CCIEs). These volunteers will help with the network construction and provide free consulting services on network communication infrastructure, focusing on organisations requiring such reconstructive efforts.