Device that restores communications during disasters up for int’l award
Sun.Star Cebu | JUSTIN K. VESTIL
Device that restores communications during disasters up for int’l award

THE Movable and Deployable ICT Resource Unit (MDRU) has been nominated for the Community Choice Awards of the 2016 Information Society Innovation Fund Asia.

The device is used during a loss of communication signal in disaster situations. It was pilot-tested in the northern town of San Remigio.

Jeffery Llanto, executive director of the Central Visayas Information Sharing Network (CVISNET) Foundation Inc., told Sun.Star Cebu that the MDRU is a unit that can be quickly deployed to restore communications in communities in the aftermath of a disaster.

The MDRU runs on its own power source and is able to harness other power sources, such as power generators or local active power lines.

Japanese invention

Llanto said the MDRU can accommodate communication and information processing functions that can be rapidly transported or moved to the disaster zone, and can be deployed within a reasonable short time to establish the network at the disaster site and launch ICT services.

The device was first used by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Japan and the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) Japan during the earthquake in 2011.

After typhoon Yolanda struck the country in 2013, CVISNET negotiated with NTT for the MDRU to be tested in the Philippines.

In February 2015, CVISNET conducted a pilot testing of the MDRU in San Remigio.

Llanto said the NTT agreed to their request as the latter wanted to test the MDRU in tropical countries that are often frequented by typhoons and other severe weather disturbances.

San Remigio’s municipal hall has served as the main point of communication, using a van-type MDRU.

A portable MDRU was also distributed to key areas, such as evacuation sites.

Llanto said that with the successful pilot testing in San Remigio, they’re trying to convince the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Information and Communication Technology to fund the project.

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