Carriers Pre-Stage Personnel, COLTS, COWs for Irma
Local network teams for Verizon are prepared to travel to help the areas hardest hit by the storm. Verizon is preparing emergency command centers and readying their fleet of Cells on Wheels (COWS), Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS), and generators on a trailers (Goats) that can be rolled into hard-hit locations or areas that need extra network capacity. The carrier is topping off and testing generators and battery backups in cell sites.
Network enhancements in Florida and the southeast include adding capacity to hundreds of cell sites and putting such infrastructure on stilts. It’s also expanding and densifying 4G LTE services across Florida, North and South Carolina and Georgia.
AT&T too, is ready with response equipment and personnel nearby. Preparation includes topping off fuel generators, testing high-capacity back-up batteries at cell sites and protecting physical facilities against flooding. AT&T has also staged other emergency response equipment in strategic locations. Its national reliability center is monitoring outages for quick action.
The carrier has installed more generators at critical cell towers and switching facilities, and moved electronics essential to network operations above expected flood levels. AT&T will have more than 700 pieces of equipment, including COWs, COLTs, trailers, and generators to maintain its network and benefit the first responders who use it.
Joe York, AT&T Florida president stated: “We’re closely linked with Florida public officials in their storm response efforts. With a storm of this size, we may have some outages. But if service goes down, we’ll do all we can to get it back up as fast as possible.”