On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. In its wake was widespread destruction that left island residents without basic human necessities. Responding to this disaster, Cisco teamed with NetHope to support recovery.

Cisco has a long history with NetHope. In fact, we co-founded the nonprofit in 2001 to bring international humanitarian organizations and the technology sector together to improve disaster response and relief efforts.

Working together in Puerto Rico, we restored networks that enabled emergency response teams and relief agencies to communicate and coordinate efforts in real time to start rebuilding communities.

With the understanding that information is aid, Cisco provided the technology and expertise to set up reliable, adaptive, secure networks. These networks enabled humanitarian organizations that partner with NetHope, as well as hospitals, emergency dispatch clinics, and government agencies, to deliver food, shelter, and medical care more quickly to residents.

Compassion through connectivity

As local networks were rebuilt, more and more residents could connect to the Internet. In fact, 250,000+ Puerto Rico residents have now been connected, enabling them to contact loved ones with status updates and find valuable resources. The first step on the road back to normal depends on getting back online.

5 steps to success

Driving our relief efforts is the Cisco Tactical Operations (TacOps) Team. It is a critical part of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility mission. When crisis or disaster strikes, Cisco can send its TacOps team in with the technology to establish emergency networks. With a variety of tools, relief kits, and delivery vehicles, the team follows a 5-step plan to establish connectivity and help rebuild local capacity.

Examples of how Cisco TacOps connects the unconnected include:

  • 45 global deployments across six continents since 2005
  • More than 35 relationships with leading emergency response organizations
  • 332 Cisco employee volunteers on our Disaster Incident Response Team


Intent-based, field tested, enterprise-ready

The same qualities that make Cisco solutions ideal for NetHope and crisis relief make them so beneficial for the enterprise — with powerful, secure, flexible networking. Networking driven by intent-based technologies that are changing the game in business.


To learn more about NetHope and Cisco’s partnership, please visit our NetHope page.



Tae Yoo

No Longer with Cisco