As Hurricane Laura continues inland, it has left commercial power outages and significant structural damage throughout the area in its wake. Despite this, Verizon and AT&T say their networks remain resilient.
“While we are seeing some sites out of service in the heaviest hit areas – primarily in and around Lake Charles – our network has backup generators and batteries running to keep our cell sites in service throughout the area to allow our customers to remain connected as clean up begins,” Verizon said in a statement yesterday.
Once the storm subsides and it is safe to do so, Verizon crews will begin site assessments and repairs, move mobile assets into place as needed, and activate a massive refueling operation to keep sites running until commercial power is restored.
Verizon Network teams and vendor partners are staffing their 24×7 virtual wireless command center and said they’re in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams coordinating communication efforts with them.
AT&T said Thursday that overall, its wireless network in Texas and Louisiana is performing well. The telecom continues to assess damage and is working to address wireless and wireline customers who were affected by storm damage and power outages. With extensive flooding and commercial power outages, back-up batteries and generators continue to provide power to AT&T facilities.
“Our teams have begun deploying network recovery equipment to support customers and first responders, and have an arsenal of additional assets on standby to deploy if needed,” said the carrier in a statement. “Our teams and FirstNet liaisons are in contact with federal, state and local officials on our deployment efforts to support public safety and the communities in the storm’s path.”
In areas where the storm has passed, AT&T says its teams will assess damage and begin to make repairs as quickly and safely as conditions allow.
T-Mobile staged equipment in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and other states in the storm’s projected path. The company took several measures to harden its network ahead of the storms’s impact, including:
- Testing and refueling of generators providing back up power to mobile sites in the expected areas of impact.
- Readying a range of temporary network solutions – including Cells on Wheels and Cells on Light Trucks – for quick deployment where needed in the aftermath of the storm.
- Engaged additional field technicians who are prepped and ready to be called on as needed.