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Open standards and open source in natural disasters

Would the communications situation in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina been less drastic if telecommunications and Internet access was based on an open standard and open source software?

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Unfortunately, I don't think this is really the case. I think the communications situation was less an IT problem and more an issue with the intensity of the disaster itself. I'm not sure if, in all honesty, anything that we could have done from an open systems side would have made anything run more smoothly.

"The disaster showed us how little we are protected, despite all the talk about advances in business continuity and disaster recovery technologies. I think the issues in New Orleans were more due to the lack of tested and in-production redundancies, whether the technology be open source or not. After all, Internet access in many ways is already based on open software and standards.

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This was first published in October 2005

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