Broadband Access for Evacuees
Telkonet, the leader in providing powerline carrier networking solutions using existing electrical wiring, today announced that Telkonet, partnering with Broadband Horizons, provided high-speed Internet access to a housing processing center in Killeen, Texas to help 3,000 Katrina evacuees. Named “Operation Thanksgiving,” this center is part of a state-wide disaster relief network that is actively communicating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the governor’s office on emergency management and state disaster coordinators, along with volunteers, local government officials, and private industry, to optimize the needs of Katrina evacuees.
Broadband Horizons was approached by BellNET, a non-profit organization providing technology services in Bell County, Texas, to set up the Internet access for this processing center. A Weiner’s department store in an abandoned shopping center was transformed into a location providing shelter, day-care, a message board, and above all else, a processing center. The Telkonet iWire System(TM) was installed, functional, and ready to go in just 12 minutes, enabling secure broadband Internet access to every electrical outlet within the center. As a result, a mobile lab was set up with laptop computers for Katrina evacuees to use, as well as the Social Security Administration, the American Red Cross, and the Texas Veteran’s Commission, along with various health and county government organizations.
Mike Bates, Executive Vice President of Broadband Horizons, commented, “Telkonet’s iWire System was the perfect solution for quick and simple Internet access deployment. The shopping center did not have any telephone lines - the only active system was the electrical infrastructure - which is all that was needed, since Telkonet’s system uses a building’s existing electrical wiring to deliver Internet access. Also, the Telkonet wired solution met the government’s requirement for a secure Internet connection.”
John Fisher, Bell County Commissioner, Precinct 4, elaborated, “When Broadband Horizons and Telkonet were asked to participate, they immediately rose to the occasion to provide the resources required to implement a cutting-edge technology. This facilitated our ability to process 3,000 evacuees to find housing in our local community, as well to provide a gateway of communication vital to the evacuees’ well-being, enabling them to find lost loved ones, check back to their home communities, or access FEMA to determine their eligibility for any benefits.”