Télécoms Sans Frontières: A Year in Review

17 Dec 2015 | AT&T

Tagged: People, Possibilities, Technology,

It’s been another busy year for Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF). We’ve responded to emergencies from Chile to Nepal, helping connect first responders, victims and other relief organizations. Here are some of the places where TSF provided access to communications services in 2015 through support from companies like AT&T. Since 2003, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation contributed $1.2 million to TSF.

Since 2003, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation contributed $1.2 million to TSF.

Refugee Crisis
TSF opened, to date, two telecom centers at the heart of the migrant route to help those fleeing instabilities in their home countries. TSF has now been present in the Western Balkans since mid-September, setting up the first connection in the Preševo One Stop Center, Serbia and then expanding its operations into Macedonia one month later at the Gevgelija Reception Centre. The infographic below illustrates the key figures we achieved in the first month of activity in Preševo and how our connections and collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are making a difference to both the humanitarian community and the people that it serves. In both centers, TSF connects over 1,000 unique devices each day.


To help ensure children in refugee camps have access to educational tools, in the course of the past 2 years, we have also set up mLearning centers in Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. TSF’s mLearning program uses tablets to help education students on subjects including math, geography, and science. The tablets use the Internet to provide the latest content including access to encyclopedias and massive open online courses. The tablets also allow them to interact with other refugee children. Technology is fundamentally altering education ensuring that students, no matter their background, have access.

Earthquake in Nepal
Following the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April, TSF deployed a team to the Nepalese territory. We provided satellite communications to international NGOs and United Nations Agencies working in Nepal. The geographical make-up results in some areas being extremely difficult to access. Satellite lines and internet connections allowed NGOs to share information, reports, damage and needs assessments within the humanitarian community, thus creating a concentration of information to identify priority areas and to transport aid to the remote populations of the Himalayan foothills.

Flooding in Chile
Following destructive flooding in the northern part of the country, the Chilean government declared a state of natural disaster in March. For several days, communications structures in the regions of Antofagasta, Atacama and Coquimbo were unavailable, affecting the response capacities of humanitarian responders. TSF deployed a team from its Regional Base for the Americas and the Caribbean alongside partners from the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination to support the Chilean government and the Home Office in their response efforts. TSF managed logistics coordination, equipment maintenance, data analysis and information management throughout the duration of the deployment, harmonizing the response capacities and efficiency amongst populations in the most affected areas.

These are just some of the examples of TSF’s deployment in 2015. For a complete list of where TSF is operating today, click here.

This post originally appeared on AT&T's Global Public Policy Blog.

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