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FCW : January 2013
With the number of smart phones set to outpace the number of people in the world, it s clear this is a technology that will only continue to evolve and advance. Incorporating it into federal agencies operations involves more than simply signing up for a voice and data plan. Among the special concerns government managers face are disaster recovery and security. "We understand that coverage is king," said Jenny Barnes, senior product man- ager for public safety solutions at AT&T, during a Nov. 15, 2012, webcast titled "Commercial Technologies to Enrich the Mobile Capabilities of Your Agency." Whether it s business as usual or main- taining workflow during extenuating cir- cumstances such as natural or manmade disasters, AT&T is committed to keeping organizations connected. Currently, the company moves an average of 28.9 pet- abytes of data and 2.5 billion text messages daily, she said. With that much information to protect, AT&T has invested billions of dollars in infrastructure and studied past events to glean lessons learned to apply in the future. Disaster recovery AT&T s approach to disaster recovery boils down to three P s, Barnes said: When an event is predictable, such as the Olympics or President Barack Obama s second presidential inauguration, the com- pany mobilizes its equipment to handle the increased traffic. That also applies to natu- ral events, such as Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the Northeast in October. "When we know a hurricane is coming in, we will drive as close with as many vehicles as we ve got -- we have over 320 vehicles -- that are central offices, satellite cell tow- ers, back-haul infrastructure," Barnes said. "We ll get as close as we can to that so we can come in as quickly as possible." During Sandy, the cell site that serves the New York Stock Exchange was hit hard. "It was flooded," she said. "When that site went down, we had to figure out -- and it really was a shoestring-and-bubble-gum approach -- how to get service back up as quickly as pos- sible. What we did is we took a very simple gas-powered generator. We had to snake a connection up 22 stories to the rooftop of that building. It worked. It worked well while we were getting the network back up and running. We have to get creative." For unanticipated events such as earth- quakes or the 2001 terrorist attacks, the response is more reactive. "We may not be there as quickly as you want us to be, but we will get there as quickly as possible," Barnes said. In addition to its fleet of 320 vehicles, the company also has 30 Hazmat-trained employees and four regional emergency operations centers in addition to a Global Standard network operations center in Bedminster, N.J. "Many times, the cell tower may actu- ally be up, but the wire line infrastructure that connects and takes you back out to the public may be what s down," Barnes said. "It requires a number of vehicles, a number of personnel to get that network back up and running." Staying connected The company offers several solutions for disaster response needs. The Remote D D D D D DI I I I I IG G G G G G GI I I I I IT T T T T TA A A A A AL L L L L LD D D D D DI I I I I IA A A A A AL L L L L LO O O O O O OG G G G G G GU U U U U UE E E E E E STAY SECURE, RESPONSIVE EVEN IN EMERGENCIES AT&T offers several products to help federal customers maintain safe mobile connectivity and operations at all times LISTEN/LEARN: For a replay of the webcast, go to: fcw.com/MobileCapabilitiesWebcast SPONSORED CONTENT THE SPEAKER: Jenny Barnes, Senior Product Manager, Public Safety Solutions We understand that coverage is king" -- Jenny Barnes, senior product manager for public safety solutions at AT&T Highlights from a recent AT&T webcast on advancing mobile capabilities CATEGORIZING INFORMATION CLASSIFIED -- Material considered confidential, secret or top secret by the U.S. government. SENSITIVE -- Also known as sensitive but unclassified, for official use only or controlled unclassified information, it also encompass- es data under medical, financial and other industry classifications for confidential personal information, unclassified/law enforcement sensitive or law enforcement/public safety investigations/opera- tions information. CLEAR -- Everyday communications with no security requirements.