LEE COUNTY, FL – In the wake of the most destructive hurricane to hit the Southwestern coast of Florida in decades, Verizon’s engineers are responding quickly to community needs by deploying additional 5G Ultra Wideband technology to critical cell sites in Lee and Charlotte counties this morning to provide greater capacity for first responders, public safety officials and residents connecting to loved ones and critical resources.
“We know being able to connect with the people and resources you need in the aftermath of a storm like this is essential,” said Kyle Malady, EVP and President, Global Networks and Technology. “5G Ultra Wideband provides much greater capacity and will be highly beneficial in supporting recovery efforts in the hardest hit parts of Southwestern Florida.”
The 5G Ultra Wideband being deployed is using C-band spectrum. Verizon acquired an average of approximately 161 MHz of C-band spectrum in markets across the country, providing a huge superhighway for wireless data to travel on. Floridians starting the long road to recovery as well as countless emergency workers and volunteers coming into the markets from across the US will need this extra bandwidth and speed. 5G Ultra Wideband is ideally designed to provide additional wireless speed and capacity for situations like this.
Additional and ongoing recovery efforts
Verizon engineers have been on the ground since before the storm readying teams who have leapt into action to provide wireless connectivity in the state in the wake of the storm. Verizon is in close contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and is coordinating communication needs and efforts with them. Verizon engineers are partnering directly with the state and local Emergency Operations Centers on restoration priorities and community needs.
Massive ongoing refueling operations are underway to ensure our permanent and portable generators remain in service until commercial power can be restored. Verizon engineers have moved temporary assets such as mobile cell sites connected with satellite links and fueled with portable generators to provide coverage to local and state forward command centers, search and rescue teams, power restoral staging areas and other first responders.
On Sanibel Island, which was separated from the mainland when the bridge collapsed during Hurricane Ian, Verizon has launched a tethered drone outfitted with a cellular node (a flying cell site) that is providing cellular coverage from the air to support search and rescue teams and first responders on the ground. The drone provides coverage for an approximate 5-7 mile radius and can fly for up to 1,000 hours.
Additional recovery efforts can be seen on the Verizon Response to Hurricane Ian page which will continue to be updated regularly throughout this event.