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C Spire Waives Activation, Monthly Fees for Priority Service That Aids Critical Mobile Communications for Emergency First Responders
|By Business Wire
|May 30, 2014 05:32 PM EDT
With the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season just around the corner, C Spire
is waiving the one-time activation charge and monthly service fee for
Wireless Priority Service (WPS), which gives eligible emergency response
agencies and personnel a higher priority connection to its mobile
communications network during a crisis or natural disaster.
WPS gives emergency service personnel, including federal, state and
local government officials, police, fire and other designated public
health and safety first responders, a higher-priority connection to C
Spire’s network during natural disasters like hurricanes, terrorist
attacks and major accidents by dialing *272 before the destination phone
number on pre-authorized mobile phones.
While priority calls do not preempt calls in progress, WPS allows
authorized users to gain priority access to the next available wireless
channel on the C Spire network, thereby increasing the probability of
call completion during emergencies and times of crisis, according to
Eric Hollingsworth, vice president of Network Operations for C Spire.
“In an emergency situation, essential communications are critical for
public safety and emergency responders who need to get through as fast
as possible,” Hollingsworth said, noting that hurricanes, widespread
flooding and tornadoes have caused billions of dollars in damage,
injuries and deaths in recent years in the Southeast.
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.
While the risk this year is expected to be lower thanks to an El Nino
effect, which causes stronger wind shear and reduces the number and
intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes, it’s critical for first
responders to be able to communicate during emergencies, Hollingsworth
“We want to support emergency responders by making this important
resource available and affordable for cities, counties, states and
federal agencies responsible for protecting the public during times of
crisis or natural disaster,” he added.
WPS requires a one-time activation fee of up to $10 per line and each
call has a per minute charge of up to 75 cents a minute, but C Spire is
waiving both the activation fee and the monthly service fee of up to
$4.50 for all designated and approved emergency responders, Richmond
said. Per minute charges would still apply for each user.
To take advantage of WPS on the C Spire network, authorized emergency
service personnel must first apply online to the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security at http://wps.ncs.gov
or by calling toll-free 1.866.627.2255 (select option 2). Once
eligibility is confirmed, the applicant and C Spire will be notified
that the request has been approved and WPS can be added to the user’s
Once WPS is activated, registered users simply dial *272 before dialing
the 10-digit phone number and the call will be automatically placed in
high-priority status for the next available wireless channel.
WPS was developed for wireless communications in 2001 by the Federal
Communications Commission and is a companion service to the Government
Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) for priority landline
communications. Both programs are managed by the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security and are part of the National Communications System
created by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 in the aftermath of the
Cuban Missile crisis.
For more information about WPS, go to www.cspire.com/wps
or contact a C Spire Business Solutions client account executive or the
Assist for Business Support Center at 1.855.277.4732.
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.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20140530005969/en/
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