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Two Hurricane-Ready “Super Switches” Ensure Continued Communications for C Spire Customers in South Mississippi, Gulf Coast and Alabama
|By Business Wire
|May 30, 2014 05:05 PM EDT
C Spire enters the 2014 hurricane season with two multi-million dollar,
hurricane-ready “super switches” providing added protection and service
for customers in south Mississippi, along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and
in south Alabama and the Florida panhandle.
Both high-tech mobile phone switching facilities, which are designed to
withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 200 miles an hour,
connect millons of voice calls, wireless data transmissions and other
critical customer services daily for C Spire consumer and business
customers. In addition to hardened and reinforced shells, the all-steel
and concrete structures house a large-scale 500 kilowatt diesel power
generator, a grid of back up batteries and other redundant back-up
systems, operations and technologies.
The latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast
calls for as many as eight to 13 named tropical storms to form in the
Atlantic Ocean during the six-month period that officially begins on
June 1. Three to six of those storms could strengthen into hurricanes
with top winds of at least 74 mph and one to two could become major
hurricanes with maximum winds of 111 mph or more.
“These super switch facilities will help ensure that essential voice and
data communications continue for our customers even when we experience
severe weather and other life-threatening situations,” said Eric
Hollingsworth, vice president of Network Operations for C Spire.
Both the 4,800 square foot, $2.1 million center in Mobile, Alabama and
the 2,600 square foot, $6 million facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
feature large switching bays, reinforced interior walls, concrete block
and reinforced steel structures for added strength and a double steel
reinforced roof grid that protects against debris strikes from roof
tile, road signs and tree limbs that might be airborne during a
hurricane or severe storm.
Each facility is designed to operate even after the loss of commercial
power. “Our battery bays work in concert with commercial power to keep
the facility up and running in the event of a hurricane or other severe
weather. If we lose commercial power, this set of batteries will power
the switch until our diesel-powered generators sense the power failure,
automatically activate and come online,” Hollingsworth said.
“Our customers depend on their mobile phones and a reliable network to
communicate with family members, friends and employers before, during
and after a severe weather event,” he added. “These high levels of
built-in redundancy provide increased wireless voice and data security,
especially during hurricane season and other times of severe weather.”
Last year was only the third below-normal season in the last 19 years
since 1995 when the current high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes
began. Fourteen tropical and subtropical storms formed in the Atlantic
basin in 2013, but only two became hurricanes and only one, Tropical
storm Andrea, made U.S. landfall. Andrea spawned tornadoes, heavy rain
and flash flooding in portions of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina,
resulting in one death.
"While our network was not severely threatened, we spend a lot of time
and effort preparing our facilities and employees to handle any
challenges presented by these types of storms,” Hollingsworth said. “We
know our customers count on us as their primary means of communications
during and after severe weather and we want them to know that we stand
ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that they can rely on our
network in any circumstance."
The company intends to continue to aggressively invest in its wireless
network to increase coverage, capacity and reliability. “In addition to
our best-in-class nationwide voice and data offerings and leading line
up of smartphones, tablets and connected devices, C Spire continues to
find new, innovative and creative ways to ensure that our network is
there when customers need us most.”
For more information on C Spire’s network readiness, visit www.cspire.com/network.
About C Spire
C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services
company that provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless
communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full
suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services
for businesses. This news release and other announcements are available
For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or
follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire
or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire
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