CEO Weekends: Partnership Expands ICT Support for Ebola Fight in West Africa

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ebola-sierraEbola, which has killed more than 8,600 people according the World Health Organization is still a problem in West Africa.

But a number of organisation, including NetHope, Facebook, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Cisco, EveryLayer and Inveneo aim to help combat this Ebola outbreak high-speed broadband Internet.

Through a joint Ebola Response Connectivity Initiative (ERCI), the firms aim to use high-speed internet access to  Ebola responders at various Ebola treatment facilities, NGO offices, and additional logistical hubs in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to curb the outbreak.

The partnership includes Facebook’s donation of 100 satellite terminals for emergency connectivity while the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to increase existing connectivity at 45 locations, many of which will serve as connectivity distribution sites for ERCI. The firms will also deploy more infrastructure and equipment.

Facebook’s Data Science Team will work with the NetHope team to analyze data, map locations while on-site hotspot equipment and financial support from Cisco Meraki will enable responders to connect laptops, phones and tablets to improve all communications related to the relief effort.

EveryLayer, formerly Volo will provide the broadband solution which will be and deployed by Inveneo and its certified partners

“The Internet can be an enabler for basic needs like healthcare, and we are seeing that firsthand with Ebola response efforts,” said Chris Weasler, Facebook’s Director of Global Connectivity. “The communications capacity that we are implementing with this extraordinary partnership is one step in supporting the work that the doctors, nurses and health professionals have bravely led in West Africa. We believe that ERCI can deliver critical tools, talent and resources to help those on the front lines access and send lifesaving information and stay in touch with their families and friends at home.”

“High-speed, reliable Internet access is a key lever to stopping the spread of Ebola,” said Mark Summer, CEO and Co-founder of EveryLayer. “An additional benefit to ERCI’s approach is that once we’ve won the fight against Ebola, the broadband infrastructure and partnerships will stay in place and continue to deliver high-speed Internet to local businesses and customers, which will help communities thrive for years to come.”

EveryLayer (formerly Volo Broadband) enables broadband service providers (ISPs and Mobile Network Operators) last year launched in Uganda to simplify how providers design and manage fixed wireless networks, set up and provision services, and serve and bill customers.

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