The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
On Friday, December 25th, 2020, a bombing on Nashville’s second avenue wrecked critical infrastructure inside the AT&T facility leading to days and weeks of no cell service or WiFi for customers hundreds of miles in all directions including some time without 911 service.
However, due to the event, Nashville has implemented a three-pronged approach to create new redundancies into the region’s emergency communications.
According to The Tennessean, Nashville is collaborating with Williamson County to get a fiber optic landline system operational to transmit emergency calls and other critical information during crises.
Nashville’s emergency communications team has also invested in an internet-based dispatch backup that allows them to use their computer system on Wi-Fi sent through the cable from Williamson County or any other source if the usual network goes down.
AT&T has also been working on creating more redundancies by “improving notification policies with the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board and local agencies, and enhanced power and network resiliency at the Nashville central office.”
The communications giant is also expanding an auxiliary system that focuses on network access for law enforcement and first responders especially when the usual networks fail.
AT&T calls this the FirstNet initiative. They aim to tie FirstNet to the emergency call system in order to detect any 911 disruptions and reroute calls over different lines when necessary.
According to Steve Martini, Nashville’s emergency communications director, the redundancies are well into testing phases and should be ready for implementation at some point in 2023.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com