Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Lucent's Hurricane Disaster Recovery Efforts

Lucent Technologies said it continues to lend support and network restoration expertise to service providers as they re-establish vital communications services knocked out by Hurricane Katrina. The Lucent response includes emergency services and consulting, on-site and remote technical support, and emergency, back-up and replacement equipment to more than a dozen of the Gulf Region's service providers.

Lucent currently has about 150 employees engaged in network restoration and recovery efforts across the three-state region. Some of the network disaster relief services Lucent has and continues to provide include:

  • Dispatching emergency tractor-trailers with network switching equipment, known as Switch On Wheels or SOWs, used in areas where existing gear is underwater or inoperable.

  • Providing similar portable mobile phone cell sites on wheels (known as COWs) to restore services where cell site and/or cell towers have been damaged or destroyed.

  • Using COWS and rerouting traffic to expand mobile network capacity in Baton Rouge and other areas receiving evacuees, thus helping to
    accommodate the influx of new mobile users who have relocated.

  • Migrating hundreds of thousands of voice mail boxes for impacted
    cellular subscribers. Lucent is now hosting more than 800,000 cellular
    voice mail box subscribers in the state of Louisiana at Lucent's complex in Baton Rouge.

  • Providing on-site and remote technical support for restoration of network switches and other equipment.

  • Repairing and/or replacing fiber-optic and other storm-damaged equipment and cabling as requested.

  • Providing back-up generators and other power equipment for network installations.

In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard has requested that Lucent and the other industry companies that make up the Wireless Emergency Response Team (WERT) activate the team and provide support for the search and rescue effort in the Gulf Coast disaster area. WERT was founded in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks by Karl Rauscher, executive director, Bell Labs Network Reliability & Security Office, who continues to serve as WERT's president.

WERT will provide coordinated, mutual aid technical support from across the entire wireless communications industry, including expertise for the search and rescue effort for first responders and volunteers who are using wireless technologies.



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