emergency.lu, a global public good that is supported by the government of Luxembourg, was introduced late last year. The whole idea was to offer a rapid response solution for disaster relief and humanitarian operations. This solution will cover the whole service chain when large-scale disasters occur. After all, whenever there is a large scale disaster, the first few hours often see a breakdown in communication. Skype intends to combat that by announcing a technical partnership with emergency.lu so that a multi-layer communications platform will be able to bridge the communication gap during these “blackout” moments.
The Luxembourg government did that the low-bandwidth Skype client, which currently is also used by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), will be completely integrated and distributed through emergency.lu. There is also a specific Skype integration of Group Chat which is being worked upon so that Skype will be used as a channel for alerts and coordination from the field.