Earthquakes and Wifi

After the recent earthquake in Kumamoto, Japan a former coworker posted this article in Facebook:

http://www.wlan-business.org/customer/introduction/feature/00000japan

Japan is implementing a system whereby all public wifi networks switch to open access for all customers after a natural disaster. The link above has an English translation explaining the background, but in summary after the Great Tohoku Earthquake in 2011, it became clear that people were cut off from information, rescue services and family during natural disasters. So, the idea was create a unified wireless network that people could use after a disaster, regardless of the network carrier, to access the Internet and such.

As of 2015, the service was still under trial, and does not fully work because of the challenges of getting a single wireless network to work across all carriers and users, but they were still continuing with the project.1

Anyhow, the way it works is that in the event of a major disaster, all network carriers will broadcast a single network SSID 00000JAPAN. Any phone or wireless computer should be able to see this network and join it, thus connecting to the Internet. With it they can call for help, or get in touch with family.

I think it’s a great idea, and though I hope never to experience a natural disaster, I wish they would implement something here before the next big earthquake.

1 The article also notes that during a disaster, physical access points for the wireless network may be severed from the Internet and not work properly anyway.

Advertisements

Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s