After Hurricane Sandy left Cablevision, Time Warner Cable and other distributors scrambling to repair damaged networks and restore service for subscribers, organizers at last weeks' SCTE Cable-Tec Expo made business continuity and disaster recovery planning a key focus of the convention.
A year ago, Hurricane Sandy made landfall just south of New York City. The destructive impact of this superstorm affected wireline networks across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, and changed the way communications service providers prepare for and deal with disasters and other potential causes of large-scale outages. But have providers like Verizon, tw telecom and others done enough to keep customers connected?
The FCC voted Thursday to adopt draft rules that would require carriers to publicly disclose the percentage of cell sites within their networks that are working during and immediately after disasters.
A federal task force charged by President Obama with investigating the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and making recommendations on how to prepare for future emergencies said the country's communications systems needed to be more resilient to handle major power outages.
As criticism mounts over Verizon's move to replace its copper-based voice lines with its new Voice Link service in areas of New York and New Jersey impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the carrier went to work explaining the logic behind its actions.
The New York Public Service Commission went ahead with granting Verizon "limited approval" to replace Hurricane Sandy-damaged wireline voice networks with its VoiceLink wireless service on Fire Island, one of a few areas in New York and New Jersey where Verizon said repairs to the PSTN will be too expensive or difficult.
Verizon will offer only wireless-based services in remote areas such as Fire Island, N.Y., and parts of New Jersey, plans that are drawing fire from the CWA and IBEW unions as well as local residents. The move is part of the carrier's plan to do away with its copper network in areas of the Northeast ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Cablevision lost 50,000 video, 10,000 voice and 5,000 high-speed Internet subscribers in the fourth quarter, with the MSO blaming the subscriber losses and a 44 percent drop in cash flow on the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
The FCC conducted a pair of hearings Tuesday in New York City and Hoboken, N.J., to assess how communications networks failed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy last fall and what should be done to prevent future network disruptions following severe storms.
Time Warner Cable Chief Security Officer Brian Allen is the only cable MSO executive scheduled to testify at a hearing the FCC will hold in New York on Tuesday that is focused on how communications networks handled the impact of Superstorm Sandy.