About C Spire



C Spire Prepares for 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Telecom provider bolsters network to maintain service in the worst conditions

Ridgeland, Miss., (May 29, 2017) – C Spire is ramping up its readiness to respond to emergencies and widespread natural disasters this summer by bolstering its network resources and mobilizing employees on the eve of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

The initial outlook from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters calls for an unusually active season with 11 to 17 tropical storms (wind speeds of 39 mph or higher) and five to nine hurricanes (74 mph or higher winds) forming in the Atlantic Ocean during the six-month period that officially begins on Thursday, June 1.

C Spire readies its extensive wireless and wireline networks and workforce for a wide range of potential disasters, including major weather events such as hurricanes. The company routinely reviews and updates its emergency preparedness plans and conducts drills throughout the year to test the readiness of its network and employees.

"Our preparations are designed to give customers maximum reliability for all of their communications at the time of greatest need," said C Spire Chief Network Officer Keith Paglusch. "When disaster strikes, people depend on telecommunications as a lifeline to the outside world. We are committed to providing our customers with the best network coverage possible in every situation.”

Last year was considered an above average season with 15 named storms and seven hurricanes, four of which were considered major, but only one, Hurricane Matthew, made U.S. landfall as a Category 1 storm. The remnants of Matthew killed 34 U.S. residents and caused widespread damage from storm surge, winds and heavy rain.

While the risks vary each year, it’s still important for residents and businesses in hurricane-prone areas to prepare for the worst. “Each storm is unique regardless of its category,” said Lee Smithson, Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. “We all know the devastation Hurricane Katrina caused in 2005, but take Hurricane Isaac in 2012, a low-end hurricane that dumped more than 20 inches of rain along the coast and led to hundreds of water rescues. We need to be prepared for every tropical threat and not take any storm lightly.”

Paglusch said the telecom company’s 1,451-member workforce, along with its extensive network resources, will be on "high alert" throughout the 2017 hurricane season, which begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. C Spire also stands ready to activate its Emergency Response Plan, which guides the deployment of company resources and personnel during a crisis.

C Spire routinely takes precautionary steps and puts restoration teams through various training and test scenarios and masses equipment and materials to protect critical network facilities and cell sites. The company uses back up batteries and diesel generators at mobile sites and switching centers and makes arrangements for replacement fuel supplies in case normal fuel delivery options are interrupted by commercial power outages or road closures.

The company operates two multi-million dollar, hurricane-ready “super switches” in Mobile, Alabama and in Hattiesburg, Mississippi that provide added protection and service assurance for customers in south Mississippi, along the Gulf Coast and in south Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

Both high-tech telecommunications switching facilities, which are designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 155 miles an hour, connect millions of calls, wireless data transmissions, video content and other critical services daily for consumer and business customers. In addition to hardened and reinforced shells, the all-steel and concrete buildings house large-scale 500 kilowatt diesel power generators, a grid of back up batteries and other redundant back-up systems, operations and technologies.

C Spire also relies on an extensive network of microwave technology that can circumvent damaged or destroyed landline systems and ensure that communications can be routed to their final destination, Paglusch said. “Microwave technology can assist with communications during natural disasters when landline systems are down,” he added.

In addition, C Spire offers companies of all sizes a suite of disaster recovery and business continuity services through its $24 million commercial data center in Starkville. The center has the data center industry’s highest design, construction and operation certification through the Uptime Institute and operates 24/7/365.

The 23,800 square foot structure can withstand a 145 mph wind load with its 9-inch think external steel-reinforced precast concrete walls welded to 6-foot-wide spread footings. In addition to multiple redundant power feeds, the center also boasts giant diesel generators, each capable of producing 1.65 megawatts of continuous power, enough to light over 1,600 homes.

“This infrastructure, our continuing network investments and our dedicated, customer-inspired workforce will help ensure that essential communications continue for our consumer and business customers even when we experience severe weather events, natural disasters and other life-threatening situations,” Paglusch said.

The company is coordinating its emergency response efforts with local, state and federal agencies, including the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the office of Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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 at www.cspire.com/news. 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.