Firm’s infrastructure, investments, readiness help deliver voice, data and internet connectivity during storm
Ridgeland, Mississippi (August 30, 2021) – C Spire’s extensive wireless and wireline network in Mississippi has largely escaped the wrath of Hurricane Ida’s damaging winds, flash flooding and storm surge thus far as the company’s focus on dependability and resiliency has paid off for its 1 million-plus consumer and business customers.
Despite operating over 1,000 cell sites, managing over 10,000 route miles of fiber optic infrastructure and dozens of facilities in the state, the diversified telecommunications and technology company has weathered the storm with minimal impacts on its extensive wireline and wireless networks.
All C Spire employees and contractors, along with an extensive suite of network resources, continue to be on “high alert” through today and tomorrow and are ready to respond to any issues caused by the storm. The firm also has activated its Emergency Response and Crisis Communications plans, which guide the use of company resources and people.
C Spire takes precautionary steps and puts restoration teams through rigorous training and disaster scenarios and masses equipment and materials to protect critical network facilities and cell sites. The firm uses back up batteries and diesel generators at mobile sites and switching centers and plans for loss of commercial power or road closures.
Over the weekend and into Monday, only a handful of cell sites had reduced capacity and less than 90 cell sites and facilities were continuing to operate on generators due to the loss of commercial power. Fiber-based Gigabit internet service to home consumers and an array of voice and data services for businesses have not been affected by the storm.
The biggest challenge is the loss of commercial power to cell sites and facilities, but C Spire’s experienced field crews already plan to refuel the generators where they are accessible until electricity is restored in affected areas.
“As a customer-inspired company, we have and will always be there for our customers to meet their critical voice and data communication needs regardless of the circumstances,” said Alan Jones, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Development for C Spire. “Whenever and wherever our customers need to make that connection, we are there.”
Hurricane Ida made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River on Sunday as a powerful Category 4 storm with winds up to 150 mph and accompanied by torrential rain, tornadoes and life-threatening storm surge in coastal areas. The slow-moving tropical cyclone is causing flash flooding and widespread power outages as it moves up the state’s inland areas.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Saturday ahead of the storm, clearing the way for a federal disaster declaration for 24 counties in the southwest portion of the state and along the Gulf Coast. Over 65,000 residents and businesses in the state are currently without electricity.
C Spire customers should go to cspire.com/wireless to get the latest updates on store hours and operations in storm-impacted areas.
The company is coordinating its emergency response efforts with local (city and county), state and federal agencies, including emergency response lead agencies in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.
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, cloud and managed 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.