Communications providers, amateur radio step up to help Japan
Communications providers AT&T, Time Warner Cable and a few others have taken some decisive steps to help Americans stay connected to Japan in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.
Amateur Radio operators have also been providing valuable assistance in the relief efforts.
In a Press Release
AT&T stated that it would offer free calling to Japan for postpaid wireless customers as well as 60 minutes of free calling for landline customers until March 31. AT&T has also made 24 hour Japanese news channel TV Japan available for all U-Verse subscribers on channel 3680 through March 17.
Mark Collins, senior vice president, Voice and Data Products, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets issued the following statement: "We want to help our customers connect with loved ones in Japan in anyway we can. Connecting with family and friends is most important at times like thisó we want to make it as easy and worry free as possible for our customers." Wireless subscribers wishing to donate can text "redcross" to 90999 to automatically donate $10 to the Red Cross to assist in the relief efforts.
Time Warner Cable also also stepped up
to help, with free calls to Japan through April 15.
Glenn Britt, Chairman and CEO, Time Warner Cable said, "At Time Warner Cable we are caring members of the communities we serve and we know that in many of those communities right now we have customers worried about family and friends in Japan. We have seen an increase in the number of calls made by our customers to family, friends and colleagues in Japan who have been touched by the events that occurred earlier today. They are all in our thoughts and we hope that this program removes a small measure of worry from our customers."
Verizon wireless has also set up a webpage
with instructions on how to donate to various relief organizations.
UPDATE: Verizon wireless is also letting people call and text free
to Japan until April 10.
Ham Radio helping out
Telecommunications infrastructure has taken a serious hit in parts of Japan affected by the quake. To this end, amateur radio operators from various radio clubs and the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) have been assisting with disaster relief efforts. Communications have been via traditional radio modes and digital radio technology such as APRS with the International Space Station
also being used to provide communications to affected areas.
shows ham radio operator JA1DOT making contact with US amateur radio operators shortly after the quake.