Dealing with Hurricane Harvey as a Local Houston Telecommunications Provider

Fiber Optic Repairs After Harvey

Cross-training is a good practice, but in disaster planning it is imperative.

Hurricanes, like any natural disaster, are hard to predict. One thing that you can predict is that the more you plan and prepare, the better equipped you are to deal with the challenges. By the time news of Harvey’s advance into the Gulf of Mexico was announced, Houston businesses needed to have a Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan at the ready, because there wasn’t time to come up with one before it would affect the area. PS LIGHTWAVE takes its responsibilities of providing critical communications connectivity to area governmental agencies and first responders very seriously, especially during a crisis. PS LIGHTWAVE is a local Facilities-Based Telecommunications Provider, which owns and operates a fiber optic network encompassing over seven counties with over 5,200 route miles. Managing a vast metropolitan fiber network that is the equivalent of the distance between Miami, Florida and Budapest, Hungary, PS LIGHTWAVE’s performance during the storm was impressive with 98% of their network devices staying up 100% of the time and 100% network core uptime.

Rhonda Cook, President/CEO of PS LIGHTWAVE attributes the success to, “Having a very committed, experienced, and passionate team in place with good organization and armed with a well thought out disaster preparedness and recovery plan.” Hand-in-hand with a highly respected expert in the field of safety and disaster recovery, Leo Wrobel, the company developed a solid plan that it continues to review and enhance. PS LIGHTWAVE provides Ethernet data circuits, private fiber optic networks, Internet, and VoIP telephony to commercial enterprises, governmental clients (municipalities, counties, state and federal agencies, and school districts), and other telecom carriers, including cellular back-haul.

Pulling the Trigger

When Hurricane Season launched, PS LIGHTWAVE began hosting multiple in-house Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan meetings that included representation by all relevant staff. Days prior to Harvey, they ramped the frequency of the meetings up and started reviewing and discussing the Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan, as well as…

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