In the event of a major disaster, phone lines often go down, leaving people with few choices for communication. But TeleContinuity Inc., is developing a system that could serve as a “survivable” emergency telephone system backup network to keep individuals, companies, and government agencies in touch during disasters by merging conventional phone lines and the Internet.

TeleContinuity’s system is unlike traditional disaster recovery systems that have focused on location-based backup facilities and centralized telecom infrastructures.

The company says its initial version of the software for such an emergency system is designed to reroute a user’s phone service within minutes of a major telephone outage by delivering the call to a remote phone, cell phone, or PDA.

Following an initial research project scheduled to be completed in Spring 2005, TeleContinuity plans to begin developing an enhanced version of the software. It will allow administrators and users to monitor and control networks in an emergency with advanced Web-based controls.

For more information on the TeleContinuity research project, visit http://jazz.nist.gov/atpcf/prjbriefs/prjbrief.cfm?ProjectNumber=00-00-5885 or www.telecontinuity.com.

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