Cisco Philippines, with the support of business partners Ardent, Azimuth, and volunteer rescue group Team Patola deployed the Cisco Konektado Strategic Emergency Response Vehicle (SERV) at the start of the year to Bohol and Cebu after these areas were devastated by Typhoon Odette.
The Konektado SERV is Cisco’s communication solution designed especially for disaster response and mitigation. It is a van fully equipped with Cisco technology designed to establish connectivity even amid power and signal outages to provide responders with a means to communicate with different teams on the ground. It is also capable of providing public Wi-Fi.
“Communication is vital post-disaster,” said Zaza Nicart, managing director, Cisco Philippines. “At the onslaught, victims need to be able to call for help, the government must be able to do risk assessments remotely, and it is the only way for the community to take part in relief operations.”
Parts of Bohol and Cebu were ravaged by Typhoon Odette and it resulted in the loss of power and communication lines. While members of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) were on the field for disaster response measures, their headquarters in Cebu was also damaged and posed critical challenges in the coordination and assessment of other affected areas.
“Konektado SERV was built to provide responders with the necessary connectivity and communication tools during the most critical hours post-disaster,” Nicart said. “The OCD team was able to set up their command center and communicate with their teams on-ground to report real-time updates. This allowed the team to identify possible landing zones for relief and rescue operations. The solution was able to provide internet access to the victims by aggregating existing cellular signals through a satellite designed by WIT Satellite.”
Among others, the Cisco Konektado SERV featured a voice-over-internet protocol, which was capable of routing incoming and outgoing voice calls with telephone lines using the internet signal provided by the satellite.
The van’s advanced technology consisted of LED monitors, network switches, and routers, as well as a Very Small Aperture (VSAT) with 4mbps internet, which supported immediate communication requirements for the disaster response team on-ground.
The Konektado SERV deployment is a result of UGNAYAN 2030, Cisco’s country digital acceleration program pillared by connectivity, collaboration, and cybersecurity.