Verizon Details Support to Areas Affected by Hurricane Ian
Wednesday, October 05, 2022 | Comments

A Verizon official detailed the carrier’s efforts to support first responder following Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida at the end of September, causing massive damage through flooding and heavy winds.

“This is historic storm,” said Cory Davis, assistant vice president, public safety Verizon. “Some of the preliminary damage assessments that are out there are ranging from $30 to $40 billion.”

To assist with the efforts, Verizon has deployed more than 100 mobile assets into the area, including a mobile earth orbit (MEO) business incorporative on-board nomadic deployable (BISON). The MEO BISON specifically provides lower latency because the MEO satellites are closer to the earth than other satellites.

One area that was heavily hit by the hurricane was Fort Myers Beach, where its estimated that up to 90% of the area was destroyed. Verizon set up the deployables to help bring coverage back into impacted areas and provide support for search and rescue efforts following the hurricane.

“Basically, we’re creating a mesh network with our deployables so we literally have continuity,” Davis said.

Additionally, in Sanibel Island, which was heavily impacted by the storm because the bridge leading to it was destroyed, Verizon set up tethered drones that can broadcast signals from 5-7 miles.

“The tethered drones have definitely played a key role in the response,” Davis said.

As for Verizon’s network in the area, Davis said that it held up pretty well during the storm and that restoration is close fully complete. He said on October 5 that the network was about 97 percent up. However, he said, the carrier will be in Florida to provide support to first responders for as long as needed.

“We’re going to be here providing communications to first responders as long as they need us,” Davis said. “We’re here for the long haul.”

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