“The premature start to the 2018 hurricane season on May 25 when subtropical storm Alberto formed East of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula serves as a stark reminder of last year’s devastating season,” said Garry Sinclair, C&W’s Caribbean President.
He added: “In addition, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a 35 per cent chance of an above normal hurricane season this year. All this makes preparation for the 2018 season an even greater priority.”
Cable & Wireless, which operates Flow and C&W Business Solutions in the region, has been preparing for the season and encourages everyone to be on alert and ready to take the necessary steps to protect family and property.
Flow has already completed a series of rigorous hurricane drills across its markets and has begun customer awareness campaigns. The company has also invested in new cellular towers built specifically to withstand category 5 wind conditions and has been rolling these out as part of its restoration efforts in the badly-affected islands of Dominica, British Virgin Islands and Anguilla.
Additionally, the company has also reinforced its sub-sea network that connects the Americas to the World with increased transmission capacity across fibre links in some markets and put in place even more redundancy options. (Redundancy: a term used to describe alternative routes for data and mobile traffic in the event of an emergency).
“While we are enormously proud of our network performance in the hurricane-impacted islands last year, we know we have to continue to prepare for the current season,” Sinclair said.
“We are hard at work shoring up our defences to make our networks even more resilient and robust for the 2018 season. For example, in Dominica, one of the hardest hit markets, we’ve relocated our main exchange to higher ground – a reinforced second floor location.”
“In the BVI, another hard-hit market, we reinforced the network towers and expanded the underground network to bolster redundancies should telephone poles become compromised during a hurricane.”
Cable and Wireless, the Caribbean’s largest full-service communications company, is keenly aware of the vital role of its services before, during and after these life-impacting weather events. This was most visibly demonstrated in islands like BVI, Dominica, Anguilla and Turks and Caicos where Flow was able to maintain network connectivity for its customers during the brunt of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. The ability to stay in contact with loved ones and to give updates on their safety was a tremendous relief to Flow customers in those markets.
“Hurricane preparedness has to be a priority for everyone including regional governments and businesses,” said Sinclair. “We at C&W continue to hold true to our commitment to keep our customers connected to family and friends especially when it matters most, during times of disaster.”