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C Spire Ready for “Active” 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Telecom provider bolsters network to maintain service in the worst conditions

Ridgeland, Miss., (May 9, 2018) – Thanks to its bolstered network resources and highly-trained staff, C Spire is ready to respond to emergencies and widespread natural disasters if they occur this summer during the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

The initial outlook from Colorado State University, considered the nation’s top forecaster, calls for an active season with 14 tropical storms (wind speeds of 39 mph or higher) and seven hurricanes (74 mph or higher winds) forming in the Atlantic Ocean during the six-month period that officially begins on Friday, June 1.

C Spire hardens 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 17 named storms and 10 hurricanes, six of which were considered major, including the first two major hurricanes (Harvey and Irma) to hit the continental U.S. in 12 years. Harvey, Irma and Maria made 2017 the costliest hurricane season on record with over $282 billion in damages.

Paglusch said all employees and contractors, along with an extensive suite of network resources, will be on "high alert" throughout the 2018 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 use of 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 multiple hurricane-ready “super switches” that provide added protection and service assurance for customers. The high-tech telecommunications switching facilities 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 commercial data centers that operate 24/7/365 with the industry’s highest design, construction and operation certification through the Uptime Institute.

The structures 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 buildings also boast giant diesel generators each capable of producing 1.65 megawatts of continuous power, enough to light thousands of homes and businesses.

“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 and organizations, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 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 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.