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Satnews Daily
August 30th, 2011

TSF Lands And Scrambles In Tripoli (SatCom)

[SatNews] They touch down and get right to work — helping.

Télécom sans Frontière arrived in Jadu and Yafran on August 25th via the border post at Dehibat in southern Tunisia, the members of the TSF team immediately coordinated with the organizations on the ground, and evaluated their needs.

Satellite connections were established from 25th August, to the benefit of the medical establishments and organizations charged with treating the injured that have been evacuated from Tripoli. Through the installation of reliable and fast Internet and telephone connections, TSF reinforces the capacities of the hospitals and the Libyan Red Cross along the route towards Tripoli. The telecoms needs are still significant in the western region of Libya: the local network is not functioning.

On the day of their arrival TSF installed a mobile satellite connection (using BGAN) in the hospital at Jadu, dedicated for use by hospital personnel and medical NGOs on site, which is the NGO IMC (International Medical Corps). This is the most important hospital in the region, which continues to receive numerous injured from Tripoli. The support of TSF was solicited by the medical establishment for the opening of this Broadband connection, in order to optimize the exchange of crucial information.

On August 25th, TSF also established a fixed satellite connection (VSAT) in the “media center” at Yafran, which is open to the entire humanitarian community. Equally, the town hospital is connected to the VSAT. The connection benefits personnel of the establishment and is also available to medical NGOs — Doctors Without Borders is notably based in Yafran.

Elsewhere, TSF has installed a second fixed connection (using KA-SAT) in the Libyan Red Cross offices in Nalut; a connection established for use by the humanitarian community as a whole.

The role of TSF is also, when requested, to place telecom and satellite materials at the disposal of aid workers. The TSF team has also provided two satellite telephones (IsatPhone Pro) to the emergency coordinator of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) and to the president of the Libyan Red Cross (who is also the Director of the hospital in Nalut).

Depending on the needs assessed throughout the mission, TSF will also connect other towns along the route towards Tripoli (using BGAN and VSAT technology).

Since its creation in 1998, TSF deployed to 60 countries and assisted more than 600 relief organizations and hundreds of thousands of victims. TSF is partner of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO). In 2006, TSF became a partner of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). TSF was designated “First Emergency Telecoms Responder” within the United Nations Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC). Télécoms Sans Frontières is also a working group member of the United Nations emergency telecoms body (WGET) and a member of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA).