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March 16, 2002
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Business Roundtable, a group of 150 CEOs, will build a secure communications network for use in the event of terrorist attacks and disasters. The Washington group expects the Critical Emergency Operations Link to provide landline and wireless connections to let members hold conference calls and access a Web page that will let them know when calls are planned.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, "there was no good way to get information from the government or to get information to the government about disruptions to commerce," says John Castellani, the roundtable's president. CEO Link will provide a communications conduit to the federal Office of Homeland Security, Castellani says, and may be expanded to include state and local governments and smaller businesses.
AT&T, whose CEO, Michael Armstrong, is chairman of the Business Roundtable's security task force, will design and engineer the network at its own expense. The cost of maintaining the network will likely come from Business Roundtable membership fees, Castellani says. CEO Link is expected to be operational in about six weeks.
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