Keeping Ukrainians online during electricity outages
December 26, 2022
Canadian support from eQualitie allows hundreds of thousands of Internet users in Ukraine to stay connected
Canadian Technology Organization eQualitie, in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, DEPS UA, and the Association of “Right Owners and Providers of Content”, supplied 29 Ukrainian ISPs with 172 SBL 135-12HR batteries to power the providers’ fiber optic network during power outages.
A cargo weighing 6,600 kg as humanitarian aid arrived in Ukraine from Poland, where eQualitie purchased a series of batteries donated for Ukrainian ISPs. Each battery weighing 38 kg will be installed on the fibre optic and distribution networks of local Internet providers, allowing them to power their networks for an additional 10-12 hours through the electricity outages. This batch of donations has a total capacity of 20,640 Amps or 247 kWh. – helping more Ukrainians access the Internet without interruption.
Distribution of batteries is based on a needs assessment conducted by eQualitie together with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. The stated needs were to bring batteries for regions most affected by Russian aggression – Chernihiv, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Sumy, etc.
This support became possible due to the efforts and commitments of the Canadian government, taking place within the framework of the project “Digital Emergency Support of Civil Society in Ukraine”, implemented by eQualitie together with the NGO “Internews Ukraine”. Internet Service Providers are among the project’s key recipients, – supporting their efforts in providing Internet and communication services to the public.
Whilst the Ukrainian Internet has shown great resilience during this conflict, it is essentially another civic utility reliant on electricity. Internet access has provided a communications and an information lifeline for so many over the last eleven months. In the conditions of constant Russian shelling of the critical infrastructure of Ukraine, and as a result – power outages, the work of providers becomes even more difficult. We note the significant efforts of Ukrainian providers to restore the infrastructure damaged during the war in order and hope that our small contribution will allow hundreds of thousands of people get reliable access to the Internet” – notes Dmitri Vitaliev, eQualitie’s director.
With the first shipment of batteries, eQualitie joins the international campaign “Keep Ukraine Connected” by NOG Alliance as an initiative of international assistance with equipment for Ukrainian ISPs. In January, eQualitie plans to purchase and bring additional batteries to Ukraine.
Beyond the supply of batteries, in Ukraine eQualitie protects the websites of Ukrainian media and CSOs from DDoS attacks by means of its own infrastructure called Deflect.ca. Also, the organization helps users in the temporarily occupied territories access a free Internet, with the CENO browser software, an Android application that helps them evade Russian censorship. At the very beginning of the conflict, eQualitie launched a decentralized communications project in Ukraine https://dcomm.net.ua/ with 10 regional locations for Ukrainian users to chat using the secure Matrix system and communicate on the Mastodon social network.
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