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Intel Pledges 1500 PCs, Wireless Support in Wake of Katrina

Working with Red Cross to Provide Communications Solutions and Support

Intel Corporation is coordinating the donation of 1,500 laptop personal computers to the American Red Cross for distribution to shelters in support of Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts. In addition, Intel will donate 150 wireless Internet access points and 50 Tropos mesh radios to be deployed at the New Orleans Airport and in downtown New Orleans for Federal Emergency Management Agency, New Orleans government and citizen use. Intel employees will provide on-site technical assistance to ensure the success of all technical deployments.

The PCs will be configured by Intel and its partners according to Red Cross requirements to allow shelters to exchange important information with the organization’s headquarters regarding victim status, resource needs and case management. The systems, along with broadband access, will also provide thousands of hurricane victims with a means of communicating with relatives, contacting social services and accessing information important to their relocation.


Intel's Paul Otellini

“The catastrophic situation created by Hurricane Katrina is unprecedented in this nation,” said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. “Intel and our employees are compelled to help the thousands who have been affected by this tragedy by offering our technical expertise and resources to assist with this critical phase of the recovery efforts.”

Intel is donating some of its own systems and is pooling donations from such original equipment manufacturers as Dell and IBM to distribute over the weekend. The equipment will be up and running early next week.

Communications problems have been a major challenge in coordinating disaster recovery, rescue and care efforts. The Red Cross will distribute the donated access points to areas in need of wireless broadband communications. Intel and SBC Communications are assessing connectivity conditions at Red Cross shelters in the region. Wherever possible they will enable these locations with either DSL or T-1 broadband access. In locations where landline access is not possible, Intel and SBC will deploy equipment to ensure that all shelters have broadband Internet access. Intel is paying for 50 Tropos mesh radios (provided at 50% of cost) directed to SkyTel that will deployed at the New Orleans Airport and downtown New Orleans for Federal Emergency Management Agency, New Orleans government and citizen access.

Intel employees have already mobilized to aid in relief efforts and are being granted paid leave for on-the-ground assistance in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast. Fundraising events at Intel sites including those in Santa Clara, Cal.; Hudson, Mass.; and Portland, Ore. have been organized. Intel has also embedded a team at Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In addition to Intel’s technical and equipment contributions, the Intel Foundation earlier this week pledged $1 million in financial support to the Red Cross. Intel will also match any employee contribution to the Red Cross or other 501(c)3 charitable organization providing disaster assistance through the end of September.

“So far, employee response has been swift and generous, with nearly 2,000 employees contributing over the past two days,” said Tracy Koon, director of Intel corporate affairs.

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WBT News Desk brings you all the latest and greatest news from the world of wireless business and technology, including breaking news, technical articles and feature stories written by the world's leading experts of mBusiness.

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