By Ron Holt, Vice President, Field Operations
Katrina, Sandy, Irma, and Harvey. These popular names have taken on new meaning for millions of citizens across the United States, representing some of the most devastating hurricanes in recent history. As satellite images of swirling storm clouds flashed across TV screens throughout the country, those who found themselves directly in the path of these storms had only one question on their minds – are we prepared?
Internet connectivity is critical in the wake of a disaster, allowing people to call for help, receive important news and information about how to stay safe, and maintain contact with loved ones. Recognizing the importance of reliable connectivity, FiberLight has gone to great lengths to ensure our network is ready to withstand even the most devastating storms and keep our customers – and the people who rely on the services they provide – online when it matters most. As we enter another hurricane season, our preparations have been underway long before any threat of potential harm has presented itself.
FiberLight has built up a full roster of contractors who will perform emergency repairs in the event that there is damage to the network. We also have a full team of emergency NOC professionals on standby to facilitate the inevitable influx of calls, making sure our clients and their customers are given the attention they require. In addition, when a threat is announced, FiberLight takes the necessary steps to ensure we have ample resources to get up-and-running as quickly as possible, stockpiling fuel and sourcing extra cable and aerial strand.
However, what makes FiberLight unique is not only our attention to detail when it comes to preparing for natural disaster, but the sheer resiliency of our existing network infrastructure. This past August, Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas leaving a staggering amount of damage in its path. During this event, however, our infrastructure sustained little to no damage. This speaks to the durability and redundancy of the FiberLight network.
We are particularly proud of the way we were able to help one customer’s neighboring city when they needed it most. During Harvey, Rockport, Texas was so significantly affected that utility workers were unable to restore connectivity in a timely manner, bringing the local government to a halt with no access to online communications. To help the victims of this area, one of our existing customers, the City of Bastrop, requested an upgrade to its network in order to have the necessary capacity to help its stranded neighbors to the south. This level of upgrade typically takes 30 to 60 days to complete. However, FiberLight completed the request in just two days, allowing the Rockport municipal government to get back online.
Hurricanes are a force of nature beyond human control. They inspire fear and awe in all who encounter them, and while we may not be able to protect all of the people in the storm’s path, we can make sure that they have the ability to maintain critical internet connectivity. As we approach hurricane season, customers can rest assured that FiberLight is prepared and we will do everything within our power to ensure they stay connected.