Communications is always a top priority in the drama that unfolds when natural or manmade disaster strikes and puts lives, property and business assets at risk. With that in mind, AT&T*, working with local officials and business leaders, will be conducting a full-scale disaster recovery simulation – a Network Disaster Recovery exercise – in San Jose from July 7 to July 16 near the Doubletree Hotel.
“This is the third visit to California by the AT&T Network Disaster Recovery Team in the last couple of years. This shows the commitment that AT&T has made to the State and our desire to be prepared and ready to assist local and state emergency responders when a disaster strikes” , said Ken McNeely, President of AT&T California. “We know how vital communications are in the event of an emergency and exercises like this in San Jose help prepare us to respond when needed.”
AT&T’s 2010 Business Continuity Study found that many local Bay Area businesses are prepared for disasters and several are investing in additional technology. Eighty-one percent of San Francisco/San Ramon companies that responded have business continuity plans and 79 percent are planning to invest in new technologies this year.
Some additional local results from the study include:
- A majority of companies (58%) provide employees access to social networking tools, and 82 percent are concerned about the increasing use of this technology and its impact on security threats.
- Similarly, 76 percent are concerned about the increasing use of mobile networks and devices and their impact on security threats.
- A vast majority (73%) indicate they have special arrangements for communicating with key executives, while 77 percent have e-mail or text messaging capabilities to reach employees.
- Seven out of 10 (69%) San Francisco/San Ramon businesses have systems in place that enable most employees to work from remote locations, and almost half (45%) have automated calling systems to reach employees by telephone or cell phone outside of work.
The AT&T NDR exercise simulates the loss of network operations due to manmade or natural disaster. This week, 17 semi-tractor trailers rolled into San Jose, each with essential networking technology for creating a temporary central network office. A crew of more than 60 permanent and volunteer NDR team members will assemble and turn up the central network office, first using satellite communications and a satellite COLT (cell on light truck). The exercise tests and refines the team’s speed and efficiency in restoring wired and wireline network operations in the event of an actual disaster. Essential to AT&T’s own comprehensive business continuity plan, the San Jose NDR exercise will feature more than 25 disaster recovery trailers and vehicles, including emergency communications vehicles, and a variety of smaller utility and support trailers, as well as a search-and-rescue dog team demonstration.
“We live and work in a connected world, where a local manmade or natural disaster could have effects on productivity and progress at a global scale,” said Mark Francis, Vice President – Global Network Operations Center, AT&T. “AT&T’s NDR activities and team are vital to helping to ensure our wireline and wireless networks experience minimal downtime in the event of an emergency. It’s our commitment to our customers’ safety, their businesses’ sustainability and continued innovation and possibility.”
During the past 15 years, AT&T has invested more than $500 million in its NDR program, which includes specially trained managers, engineers and technicians from across the United States, as well as a fleet of more than 300 self-contained equipment trailers and support vehicles that house the same equipment and components as an AT&T data-routing or voice-switching center. In 2008, AT&T announced that its NDR organization had consolidated wireless, wired and backbone network recovery capabilities, enabling AT&T to bring an integrated approach to disaster recovery that helps ensure the flow of both wireless and wired communications during times of need.
And, more recently, AT&T announced that in conjunction with the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (NC OSHERC), it has developed an industry-first certification program for telecom hazardous materials specialists. Eleven members of AT&T’s NDR team were the first to receive this certification, which was awarded to them at AT&T’s NDR exercise in New Orleans in March 2010.
More information on AT&T’s NDR program is available at www.att.com/ndr.
For more information on Business Continuity Services that AT&T provides, go to http://www.business.att.com/enterprise/Family/business-continuity-enterprise/business-continuity-enterprise/.
The AT&T 2010 Business Continuity Study results are based on an online survey of 108 Information Technology (IT) executives in the San Francisco/San Ramon metropolitan area. The study was conducted by e-Rewards Market Research with companies having total revenues of more than $25 million (except for state/local government participants) in the San Francisco/San Ramon DMA (Designated Market Area). Surveys were obtained between March 5 and March 12, 2010.