DHS, Verizon Detail Super Bowl LVI Support
Thursday, February 10, 2022 | Comments
As the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals clash in Los Angeles for Super Bowl LVI, thousands of local, state and federal personnel will be working to keep game attendees as well as California residents safe during the weekend and week leading up to the game.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said more than 500 of its personnel will provide support including air and maritime security resources; anti-human trafficking prevention and enforcement support; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives detection technologies; venue, cyber and infrastructure security assessments; intelligence analysis and threat assessments; and real-time situational awareness reporting.

“The Department of Homeland Security is fundamentally a department of partnerships, and those partnerships are critical to ensuring the safety and security of Super Bowl operations as well as that of the surrounding community,” DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement. “Our dedicated DHS workforce is working collaboratively alongside our federal, state, and local partners to provide operational and technical support to the NFL, city of Inglewood, and state of California to keep this national event safe. Just like the game itself, vigilance is a team effort, so please remember: if you see something, say something.”

DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is working with federal, state and local authorities to assess and mitigate any risks to the critical infrastructure of the Los Angeles area and is also serving as the liaison for communications carriers.

As part of the effort, CISA conducted cybersecurity vulnerability assessments, multiple planning exercises and bomb safety workshops to help prepare state and local partners. During the game itself, CISA will support emergency communications and monitor any risks to critical infrastructure.

Supporting the federal, state and local public-safety personnel will be carriers such as Verizon.

“With the health and safety concerns around COVID-19, health is at the forefront as we’re thinking about the Super Bowl,” said Cory Davis, director of public-safety operations for Verizon.

To support large demand for communications around SoFi Stadium from both public-safety personnel and the general public, Verizon invested $119 million in network enhancements to the area around the stadium and to build out its 5G ultrawideband coverage (UWB) in the area. That investment included putting up more than 169 small cells, four macro cells and 24 in-building cells in the area around the stadium, Davis said.

“We’ve spent a lot of time, but also a lot of capital investments making sure SoFi is arguably the most connected stadium in the world right now,” Davis said.

Verizon will also have a command center that will serve as the “central nervous system” for all of its operations and activities during the Super Bowl weekend. That command center will be staffed with engineers and technicians 24/7 to ensure the network keeps running optimally throughout the event.

Staff from Verizon Frontline, Verizon’s public safety arm, will also be dispatched to nearby emergency operations center (EOC) and joint operations centers (JOC) to help address any issues that public safety address any issues that come up during the game. And in the case, of a major situation popping up, deployables such as cells on light trucks (CoLTs), cells on wheels (CoWs) and generators on wheels (GoTs) will be stationed in the area to provide additional coverage.

“We have a whole barnyard full of CoWs, CoLTs and GoTs stationed in Southern California just in case things get really bad or go sideways,” Davis said.

Davis said that as it has been in the past, Verizon will be committed to providing what it calls true interoperability across different communications providers and platforms.

“No matter what network, platform, application or carrier you are using, Verizon continues to keep our network open,” Davis said.

The investments and commitment made to the network for the Super Bowl will extend past the game itself, Davis said. All of the network investments and coverage enhancements will remain in place to provide everyday coverage as well as for future events like the Super Bowl.

“Our focus is not only on this week but long after the game,” Davis said.

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