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Second part of a two-part analysis of how to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. (see part one)
In order for any telecom operator to be able to properly face emergency situations, it needs to have an in-depth company-wide (instead of department-wide) understanding of:
After the Storm
Depending on the level of damage experienced after a storm, there are different strategies that can be undertaken to assess damage. Obviously the most pivotal sites of the network that are down need to be brought “live” as soon as possible. Additionally, Emergency recovery teams need to be sent out as soon as possible to assess visual damage and establish prioritized response actions to start getting the network functional:
Although networks in the U.S. recovered quickly following hurricanes last year, the experience of other Caribbean nations can teach everyone in the wireless industry valuable lessons. About half of mobile network operators in the Caribbean were directly impacted by storms, and some Caribbean operators experienced more than 95-percent damage to infrastructure. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season sent a clear message that preparedness cannot be taken lightly. For each example of a speedy network restoration and temporary connectivity solutions that helped the effort, there were others of total network destruction and inability to establish connectivity in a reasonable time.
It is also a fact that many insurance claims have still not been paid and that substantial resources, both technological and financial, are needed in the region to ensure mobile infrastructure and networks can withstand Category 5 hurricanes, or similarly extreme natural events.
Affected operators in several areas of the Caribbean are still working at rebuilding their networks, and should focus on doing it in a more resilient way. Once upon a time, when connectivity was lost, it was only voice that was disrupted. Now, it is about not only voice, but also about data and the multitude of applications we rely on each and every day to stay connected, and in many cases, safe.
By Leticia Latino-van Splunteren, CEO of Neptuno
August 9, 2018