Improving Global Service
When the FIRE Project began in 1995, we had to consider that many visitors would access our first portals using very low speed modems and character-based client systems. Since that time, very slow speed access has reduced dramatically and today is almost entirely confined to those visitors who access our portals via radio modems from very remote areas and from boats at sea. Even here, access equipment has been increasingly replaced by satphones and windowing client software. As these forms of access become less common, visitors are accessing our portals from much smaller, faster, more portable smart phones but the most common access is by broadband and WiFi connected windowing client systems. Since 1995 we have attempted to maintain service for the older and less capable client systems, while improving access for the latest, fastest and most mobile client systems.
We are now 80% of the way through the current portal upgrade program and our visitors should see faster responses to smartphone access. We invite comment from visitors on their experiences of these new portals.
The current upgrade program should complete before the end of 2012. As the FIRE Project is staffed by volunteers, this depends on available volunteer hours but is likely to complete ahead of schedule. We will also be adding new portals which are completing final testing to expand the topic scope of the FIRE Project on-line news and information resource.
As the portal upgrade program completes, we will be able to switch on additional functionality that is already present in our Central Information Resource that serves the public access portals.
FIRE Project Development Team