Mildred Caranto / Santiago Times Staff
SANTIAGO – Connectivity is key in a crisis – if it gets there fast enough. Families forced from homes or threatened by a disaster depend on digital access to information as a lifeline connecting them to critical health services, job opportunities and relief supplies.
For this very purpose, the Ministry of Transport and the Undersecretariat of Telecommunications have carried out a contingency plan to quickly and effectively repair communications for people.
More than 1,000 prepaid SIM cards were distributed among those affected by the fires in the south and central part of the country to facilitate their connectivity and communication with their families.
Mobile telephone and satellite connectivity for Santa Olga
The community of Santa Olga recovered its connectivity, thanks to the rapid action by Entel and Movistar which are deployed to solve the connection problems of this region.
Following the worst fires to hit Chile in half a century, Entel began repair of its infrastructure to allow the mobile connectivity to people who depend on this operator to re-activate. After hectic work, voice and data services were regenerated.
Meanwhile, Movistar implemented a Teleport at the Santa Olga checkpoint, allowing the community that does not have a smartphone or a telephone from an operator with on-site coverage, to be able to communicate via fixed satellite telephony.
This service is guarded by the authorities in charge of this area, which promote a reasonable use of this resource by restricting its time of use so that everyone can access it conveniently. The company also implemented a Wi-Fi access point suitable for the use of messaging applications.
The company is already working on the reimplementation of optical fiber in all the sections where it was damaged by the fire, compromising the continuity of the services delivered in the area.
SIM Cards for Hostels
A total of 1,000 prepaid SIM cards – 500 units donated by Entel, and another 500 delivered by Claro, with a load of 10 thousand pesos each – were distributed among those affected by forest fires in the south-central zone of the country.
The measure is part of the commitments that the operating companies assumed with the Sub-Secretariat of Telecommunications, SUBTEL, to deal with the emergency and ensure the connectivity and communication of the affected community.
“We recognize and appreciate the joint effort of the operators who are working today to reconnect all the affected areas quickly,” said Undersecretary Rodrigo Ramírez, who delivered the prepaid units at the main hostel located in the city of Constitución in Maule region.