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Humanitarian Initiatives (HIC)

Workshop on Humanitarian Applications of Communications

Can communications really be considered ‘humanitarian’? While many people envision broadband communications being synonymous with wasting time on YouTube or Facebook, for some people connectivity can be the difference between life and death. Thanks to a communications link in Peru, several remote villages now have the ability to get instant consultations with doctors and specialists. When the alternative is a multiday trek, that video link becomes a lifesaver. In Northern Ontario broadband connectivity lets rural users complete training and education that would otherwise require them to move to a larger city.

As part of the IEEE International Conference in Communications in Ottawa, a workshop is being held to discuss both the technical and logistical challenges of delivering communication to remote areas. Halifax is hosting a webcast of the event, along with local live discussions about each presentation and the issues raised. Whether you are a humanitarian worker, engineer, student, or business leader we encourage you to come and discuss your thoughts on humanitarian applications of communications technology.

The workshop occurs on June 11th, in room C104 of Sexton Campus of Dalhousie University. Room C104 is on the ground (main) floor. Any entrance (Queen, Morris, Barrington) of Sexton campus will have signs indicating the room location. Registration is required at but there is no cost. Time is expected to be from 9AM-6PM (all day), details will be confirmed closer to the event. See for list of speakers that will be webcast.


09h45 Local Welcome, Information on Humanitarian Initiative Halifax
10h00 Welcome from Ottawa (remote)
10h10 S. Rayment – Unlicensed spectrum and Carrier WiFi (remote)
10h40 M. Christensen, A. Brandao – Making rural communications work (remote)
11h40 Break
11h50 J. Sydor – Cognitive Rural WiFi Networks for Developing Regions (remote)
12h20 Roundtable #1 – appropriate wireless technology
13h00 Break
14h00 B. Cheung, I. Hamdad, A. Maranda – humanitarian context and considerations (remote)
16h00 M. Murrillo, D. Reid – Key Issues in IEEE-Sponsored Data Connectivity Projects (remote)
17h00 D. Wright – Business model for telemedicine in Peru (remote)
17h30 Roundtable #3 – business model

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