Vital communications tool in Haiti disaster effort

While monitoring the Haitian earthquake and social networking, I wanted to share with you a vital piece of the International Red Cross’ communications puzzle in the disaster relief effort. It’s an Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) satellite terminal. Backpack journalists and others also use the technology in remote or devastated areas where the highest bandwidth BGAN units weigh about seven pounds. .
Click on the video below for the Red Cross description.

The battery powered BGAN terminal allows Red Cross personnel to communicate via laptop computer from virtually any place in the world. The device can be purchased or rented and allows users to talk via phone while they simultaneously access the Internet. E-mail, text messaging and video conferencing streaming are also possible with this device.
The BGAN device also has the advantage of an “Always On” connection. Emergency responders and other users never have to log off BGAN terminals because they only pay for the data they send and receive, not for the amount of time they are connected.
Click the video below to see how the manufacturer describes the product:

About Bernard McCoy

My views are my own and not a reflection of my employer. I'm a professor of Journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I've also been a working journalist for the past 29 years. I have covered news stories in war zones, reported on human and natural disasters, presidential conventions, a presidential inauguration and the September 11th, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. My career experiences include work as an award-winning documentary producer, television news reporter, photographer, producer, and anchor. I worked at WIBW-TV, Topeka, KS., KCTV, Kansas City, MO, WKBD-TV, Detroit, MI., WILX-TV, Lansing, MI. and WBNS-TV, Columbus, OH. I have also worked as a contributing reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, Associated Press, CBS, CNN, the Ohio News Network and lecture at the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communications. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in telecommunications management from Michigan State University.
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