On August 22, 2018, the National Telecommunications Commission of Honduras (abbreviated CONATEL in Spanish), delivered radio communications equipment to COPECO Honduras, donated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for emergency communications.
Honduras is part of a pilot project of ITU that includes Central America and the Caribbean, aiming to achieve full implementation in South America.
Miguel Alcaine, ITU Area D Representative, said:
The most important thing is that CONATEL, COPECO and the Radio Amateurs start working with the Winlink tool. I am very happy to know that we are doing something before disaster strikes”.
Lisandro Rosales, National Commissioned Minister of COPECO, stated:
One of COPECO’s objectives has been the strengthening of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and thanks to them, the institution has one of the most powerful communications networks of the region, with coverage of 95% of the national territory”.
Minister Rosales also said:
We have realized that telecommunications is a key element in order to give early warnings and to warn about imminent danger, or to coordinate assistance or reconstruction activities”.
The cooperation agreement also includes a training process. To this effect, COPECO technicians, along with professionals of the 911 National Emergency System and CONATEL personnel, initiated a series of workshops, with the support of Honduran Radio Amateurs.
Omar Paredes, HR1OP, Secretary of Club de Radio Aficionados Central de Honduras (CRACH), commented: “This program and radio equipment will allow first responders that work during emergencies to send information through radio waves in high-frequency (HF) bands, when telephone and digital communications collapse or if there are power outages”.
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