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Two Hurricane-Ready “Super Switches” Ensure Continued Communications for C Spire Customers in South Mississippi, Gulf Coast and Alabama

Mobile Call Processing Centers Designed To Withstand Category 5 Hurricane; Handle Millions of Calls, Texts, Video, High-Speed Mobile Broadband Data Traffic

Ridgeland, Miss., (June 1, 2017) – C Spire enters the 2017 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 switching facilities, which are designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 155 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 redundant, large-scale 500 kilowatt diesel power generator, a grid of back up batteries and other redundant back-up systems, operations and technologies.

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 today.

“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 Keith Paglusch, chief network officer for C Spire.

Both the 4,800 square foot, $2.1 million center in Semmes, 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,” Paglusch said.

“Our customers depend on their devices 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 voice and data security, especially during hurricane season and other times of severe weather.”

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 our network was not severely threatened last year, we spend a lot of time and effort preparing our facilities and employees to handle any challenges presented by these types of storms,” Paglusch said. “We know our customers count on us 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 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 other connected devices, C Spire continues to find new, innovative and creative ways to ensure that our network is there when customers need us most,” Paglusch added.

For more information on C Spire’s network, 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 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.