RNLI launches KCOM lifeboat station network » Charity Digital News

RNLI launches KCOM lifeboat station network

RNLI lifeboats. Picture credit RNLI Nathan Williams

A deal has been struck to upgrade the connection between the RNLI’s 237 lifeboat stations.

The RNLI’s wide area network (WAN) has been renewed and supplied by comms provider KCOM. The fully managed service provides the RNLI with a single platform by a dedicated partner.

Upgrading its communications network is a key plank of the RNLI’s ongoing strategy to make its work more accessible to volunteers, colleagues and its supporters.

Steve North, IT project Manager at the RNLI, said: “Our aim is to give our station’s staff and volunteers the best service possible. Lifeboat crews and volunteers input the details of lifeboat launches and then upload video footage from their rescues, which can be used for media, training and fundraising.

“A faster connection helps us to spread the word about the lifesaving work we are doing much more quickly. The RNLI is dedicated to saving lives at sea, and investing in better technology at our lifeboat stations around the coast will help to do this.”


Rollout to remote locations

Installation of two ‘large bandwidth’ connections has already begun into the RNLI’s Poole HQ, with a rollout of private connections to its other – often remote – sites taking place across the UK.

KCOM has worked with the RNLI to map out the most suitable, cost-effective connectivity for each site based on site needs, location and support requirements, and has also managed and monitored hardware installation including managed switches and wireless devices.

Gary Young, executive VP, mid-market and consumer at KCOM, said:  “Speed is vital in all aspects of the RNLI’s work, not just in saving lives but also in raising awareness of the dangers at sea.  The Respect the Water campaign has seen unprecedented results in educating the public via its social media channels @RNLI on Twitter and Facebook and being online at all times is now a business imperative.”

Rollout of similar infrastructure by is planned for the RNLI in the Republic of Ireland, with connection due in Autumn 2016.

Last year the RNLI appointed agency Yoyo to help rebuild its website. In 2014 it became the first UK charity to accept Bitcoin donations.

Picture credit: RNLI Nathan Williams

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