Communications services not only form part of the base of the information society, but also are indispensable
essential to society by virtue of their functions as an integral part of the people and as a safety lifeline. The NTT Group employs multiple back-up measures at all times to prevent systemic damage due to any unexpected large-scale disaster, with a basic disaster countermeasure policy of reliability improvement of telecommunications networks,
securing essential communications, and fast recovery of services.
Reliability Improvement of Telecommunications Networks
24-hour Monitoring of Network and Telecommunications Equipment
Taking lessons from major disasters in the past, the NTT Group is implementing a wide range of measures in order to improve the reliability of its communications networks. For example, we are working to disperse installation of toll switches and create multiple routing for toll transmission lines, so that services will not be interrupted if a communications center in which relay switches are installed or relay routes are damaged. Additionally, earthquake-proofing, as well as measures against strong winds and fires, are being put in place in buildings, towers, and indoor and outdoor telecommunications equipment.
We also have a continual 24-hour nationwide communications-network monitoring system in case of unforeseen anomalies.
Securing Essential Communications
Specially-installed Public Telephones
When a disaster occurs, telephone calls flood into the affected region, as people call to check on the safety or offer their condolences to people in the area. This makes it difficult to make a telephone connection in the affected area. If this happens, restrictions are placed on general calls, important communications and calls to 110 (police emergencies), 119 (fire emergencies/ambulance), and other emergency calls are ensured, in order to enable rescue and recovery work, maintain public order, and the like. Additionally, measures are offered to allow the general public to check on the safety of people in the affected area. People can dial Disaster Emergency Dengon Dial "171", or use the i-mode Disaster Message Board Service. Measures have also been taken to enable people affected by the disaster to communicate. For instance, specially-installed public telephones (toll-free) have been set up at evacuation centers.
Fast Recovery of Services
Emergency Restoration of Communications Cables
The NTT Group companies provide highly maneuverable facilities for implementing disaster measures nationwide with the aim of assuring quick recovery and communications in disaster areas. If disasters or other events cut off communications services, this disaster readiness equipment is used to speed recovery.
When there is a large-scale disaster, disaster task forces and other emergency organizations are rapidly set up, and depending on the scale of the disaster, group companies and affiliates nationwide set up wide-area support organizations, which together work to quickly bring services back online.
Measures for The Mid Niigata Prefecture Earthquake
Power Supply Vehicle Provide Power Relief (NTT Katakai Bldg.)
Mobile Phone Services Restored by Portable Mobile Base Station(Yamakoshi Village *1)
On October 23, 2004, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck with an epicenter in the Chuetsu region of Niigata prefecture. The combined capabilities of the entire NTT Group were focused on ensuring communications services and bringing telecommunications equipment back online in the affected area.
Immediately after the earthquake, blackouts covered a wide area of Niigata prefecture. Commercial power to most telephone exchanges and mobile phone base stations was cut, and they switched over to backup battery and generator power. As the blackout wore on, there was concern that backup power would run out, but NTT Facilities and others brought 45 power supply vehicle and 14 transportable power generators to Niigata prefecture from around the country, ensuring a supply of power to telecommunications equipment.
Specially-installed Public Telephones Made Available Using Portable Satellite Communications Equipment (Koshiji Town*1)
Fixed-phone services in Niigata prefecture was affected by landslides and other problems, which damaged optical relay cables. Toll transmission lines were damaged in large parts of the village of Yamakoshi*1, and the towns of Oguni*1 and Koshiji*1, and communications to these places were cut off. Additionally, roads to the affected areas were cut off, preventing entry by land to those areas. For this reason, NTT East flew in portable satellite communications equipment and generators to the town halls and evacuation centers of the affected areas by helicopter, and ensured communications by setting up specially-installed public telephones.
Meanwhile, mobile phone services in the area around the village of Yamakoshi were cut off, due to damage to the toll transmission lines to the base stations. For this reason, NTT DoCoMo sent portable mobile base station to the Takezawa district of Yamakoshi, ensuring communications in the main part of the affected area.
In addition to this, the NTT Group also helped victims contact friends and relatives. NTT East set up 378 specially-installed public telephones at the 129 evacuation centers and other locations, while NTT DoCoMo loaned 92 mobile phones and other equipment free of charge and provided about 2,400 battery adapters at evacuation centers and other locations.
- Currently the city of Nagaoka
Offering Means to Check Wellbeing in Times of Disaster
When there is a large-scale disaster or the like, means are provided to check the safety of relatives and friends. People can dial Disaster Emergency Dengon(Message) Dial "171", or use the i-mode Disaster Message Board Service. These services have been utilized by many people, especially during The Mid Niigata Prefecture Earthquake of October 23, 2004.
We have offered chances to try out these services during Disaster Prevention Week and Disaster Prevention and Volunteer Week, in order to teach customers how to use the systems before a disaster strikes.
In order to give even more people a chance to use them, starting in September 2004 we have been offering hands-on learning opportunities on the first of each month*2.
- Excluding January 1