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BREAKING: Telecoms ready for Hurricane Isaac

As Hurricane Isaac slowly approaches the Mississippi and Louisiana coastlines, Mississippi telecom carriers are gearing up to keep their networks online and in service.

Verizon Wireless said in a release this morning that last year’s $39 million network investment in south Mississippi would strengthen and enhance its coverage and service in the event of severe storms.

AT&T said earlier this week that a recent $600 million nationwide investment would help ensure the company maintains the flow of wireless and wireline communications during emergencies. The company is also testing batteries and topping off generators at all of its cell sites in the storm’s path.

Ridgeland-based C Spire Wireless has disaster response teams standing by and will be relying on two multi-million dollar, hurricane-ready “super switches” in Hattiesburg and Mobile, Ala. for added protection and service for customers in south Mississippi.

Other ongoing efforts from Verizon include:

• A comprehensive emergency response plan, including preparing emergency command centers across Mississippi in the case of a storm or other crisis.

• Network technicians to measure the quality of voice and data service calls.

• A fleet of Cells on Wheels (COWS), Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS), and generators on trailers (GOaTS) that can be rolled into hard-hit locations or areas that need extra network capacity.

• Pre-arranged fuel delivery to mobile units and generators to keep the network operating at full strength even if power is lost for an extended period of time.

• Newly constructed digital cell sites, including those with their own on-site generators and expanded fuel tanks to extend capacity.

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