Telecom Italia: since the immediate afermath of the quake, the company has been running initiatives to help people in earthquake affected areas

04/09/2009 - 05:50 PM

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FREE TOP-UPS FOR CUSTOMERS IN THE L’AQUILA PROVINCE TO ENSURE THEY CAN USE THEIR MOBILE PHONES; BILL DISPATCH SERVICE SUSPENDED

PUBLIC TELEPHONES: 150 PHONES WITH UNLIMITED CALLS FOR CIVIL DEFENCE OPERATIVES AND PEOPLE AFFECTED BY THE EARTHQUAKE

FONDAZIONE TELECOM CONSIDERING DONATIONS TOTALLING €1.2 MILLION

In response to a number of requests made via the media, Telecom Italia wishes to announce that since the immediate aftermath of the earthquake on Monday, the company has been running a series of initiatives in earthquake-affected parts of the Abruzzo region.

Working closely with Italy’s Civil Defence Force, the company immediately dispatched six emergency generators and two mobile wireless base stations to the area. A further 22 generators are arriving over the next few days. Around a hundred emergency lines have been hooked up to civil defence force field offices, while a mobile public telephone unit catering to up to six callers at any one time is now up and running at the Paganica emergency reception centre.

To ensure that citizens and rescuers alike are able to stay in touch, all TIM prepaid mobile customers in the affected area are receiving a €10 call credit. Two and a half hours after Telecom Italia began working on this initiative, more than 281,000 customers had received their credit; overall, some 341,000 customers have benefitted. Telecom Italia is calling round all TIM customers to double check that they have received their credit text message, and to check if they have any other communications needs. All customers contacted who have a credit of less than five euros on their phone are being immediately topped up to a €10 credit.

The billing process has been suspended for all mobile customers in the province of L’Aquila, as have all credit management processes while the company contacts customers to ascertain whether or not they have access to the phone service. Billing has also been suspended for all landline customers in the province of L’Aquila while checks are being carried out that lines are up and running, and in use.

One hundred and fifty mobile phones with unlimited call credit have been distributed to the Civil Defence Force for use as “mobile public phones” at reception centres; over 2,200 prepaid landline phonecards have also been given out free of charge.

Telecom Italia has teamed up with Italy’s other telephone carriers and the Civil Defence Department to set up a text message charity hotline. Customers who text the hotline (48580) automatically make a €1 donation; calls to the same number from a landline correspond to a €2 donation.

Telecom Italia has kept the Ministry of Economic Development and Civil Defence abreast of all of the company’s initiatives, and is happy to work closely with other carriers on all future initiatives.

To conclude, at its next meeting (scheduled for the end of April), the Board of Directors of the newly-established Fondazione Telecom Italia will discuss two potential donations: a €200,000 donation to support people affected by the earthquake, and €1 million for a project (details to be decided) to restore sites of historic and artistic heritage damaged by the quake.