This hurricane season, Verizon readies the fleet
TAMPA, Fla., May 24, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With hurricane season fast approaching, Verizon’s team is working to ensure its people and assets are ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice to assist with rapid recovery efforts of critical communications infrastructure. Recognized repeatedly for reliability, Verizon’s extreme network is designed to withstand extreme weather and deliver superior service by including redundancy on critical paths and components to avoid potential failures which could significantly affect customers. The use of battery and generator backup systems in critical locations such as cell sites and network operations centers also serve to minimize the risk of disruption if commercial power is lost. One hundred percent of Verizon macro cell sites which provide large area coverage have backup battery power and 79% have backup generators.
But even the most hardened infrastructure can be shaken by mother nature.
In case emergency network recovery becomes necessary after a hurricane makes landfall, Verizon is prepared to respond quickly. Verizon maintains a fleet of over 550 portable assets, including fully functional, generator-powered cell sites that can replace or enhance network coverage and capacity in a given area as well as drones and a fixed wing aircraft that can provide service and situational awareness from the sky above. Additionally, Verizon boasts an industry-leading 200 satellite-based portable network assets.* These satellite assets provide an alternate way to connect cell sites to the rest of the network in the event that a fiber cable is lost due commercial power outages or physical damage. All of these mobile assets are complemented by more than a thousand portable generators and a comprehensive refueling program. These assets are kept in staging areas across the country for rapid deployment, some even being stored in a cave 60’ below ground for safe-keeping.
“Our network is built with industry leading resiliency and reliability. The work we do before the extreme weather moves in is critical in minimizing its impact and speeding the recovery work after the weather has passed,” said Joe Russo, Verizon’s EVP and President, Global Networks and Technology. “We have invested heavily and trained relentlessly to be ready for rapid-recovery scenarios because we know how critical communications services are.”
Prioritizing first responders and mission-critical work
As first responders prepare for hurricane season, the Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team stands ready to help ensure public safety agencies on the front lines of any potential disaster response operations have the mission-critical communications capabilities they will need to achieve their missions. This team, composed primarily of former first responders and military personnel, is solely dedicated to supporting public safety customers during emergencies at no cost. Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team members set up portable cell sites, WiFi hotspots, free charging stations and other Verizon Frontline devices and solutions that help enable mission-critical communication and/or boost network performance. They deployed in support of nearly 750 public safety agencies in nearly every state in 2022.
Verizon engineers prioritize recovery efforts after a storm. The first priority is to restore basic voice communication services for search and rescue and mission-critical life saving work. They then prioritize restoration of service for public safety and Emergency Operations Centers that are activated to respond to an emergency, often working with the Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team to deploy mobile cell sites to provide connectivity in temporary forward command centers. Next, engineers focus on support for utility and community response teams who are restoring commercial power, setting up shelters or providing security escort services. When all emergency response teams have service, engineers quickly get work restoring service throughout the impacted area and remain with the impacted community until full service is at pre-storm levels, often modernizing replacement equipment in the process.
Verizon’s fleet includes large assets to support mobile workstations and facilities for first responders and the community, a variety of temporary mobile cell sites with standalone power and backhaul connections, and a robust roundup of mobile assets to restore parts of the permanent network infrastructure that could be damaged by storms.
Large assets to support mobile workstations and facilities for first responders and the community
Temporary mobile cell sites with standalone power and backhaul connections
Mobile assets to restore parts of the permanent network
*Based on publicly available information.