Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC)

Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC)

 Lead   Office of the Government Chief Information Officer OGCIO
 Co-lead   Digicel
 Website   ETC Vanuatu Website

The Vanuatu National Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (NETC) was established in 2016 to provide strategic, guidance and oversight for emergency telecommunications needs in the event of a disaster. An effective and well-coordinated deployment of information and communication technologies (ICT) throughout a disaster enhances the timeliness, effectiveness, and coordination of humanitarian aid, while empowering affected populations, and the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu to take greater control responding to disasters. This includes sharing infrastructure and making available spectrum (including frequencies and emergency numbers), to be used to coordinate and carry out relief efforts.

As part of the ongoing efforts to establish this cluster, a pragmatic, multi-stakeholder partnership with local, regional and international agencies responsible for emergency telecommunications and who are well informed of the deliberations of the NETC is required. The National Emergency Telecommunication Cluster is comprised of stakeholders from the private sector, NGO’s, the United Nations, and government agencies including but not limited to representatives from: 1) Internet Services Providers; 2) NDMO; 3) Vanuatu Police Force; 4) Vanuatu Mobile Force; 5) TRR; 6) OGCIO; 7) the World Food Programme;  8) Vanuatu Humanitarian Team; 9) Media Outlets; and 10) Logistics Cluster.

Some of the activities of the NETC include to:

  • ·Draft a National Emergency Telecommunication Plan which sets out policies that need to be adopted and implemented that align with existing policy frameworks to oversee the strategy’s implementation;
  • ·Coordinate overall ICT activities with responding humanitarian actors, including coordination of emergency telecommunications needs assessments and analysis involving relevant key partners;
  • ·Work with ISPs and telecommunication network operators in the event of a disaster to utilise and have free access to public and private network infrastructure and resources;
  • ·Deploy emergency telecommunication systems to identified sites prioritised based on needs and available funding; and
  • ·Ensure adequate contingency planning and preparedness for new emergencies. This may include the development of minimum preparedness actions for the NETC to ensure it is ready to respond to disasters when they emerge. ”