As many know, an individual in a senseless act, detonated an explosive device in downtown Nashville. This explosion went off directly next to a key AT&T interconnection hub for communications services throughout the region. Our hearts go out to all the affected people and businesses who suffered so much from the tragic event. Our appreciation goes out to the many federal, state and local personnel who are conducting the investigation.
We at White Cloud Communications, a Kentucky broadband provider, also were affected by the explosion. White Cloud purchases transport and internet bandwidth from AT&T. By Christmas Day afternoon, the data links to two of our headend locations from AT&T were offline. Fortunately, we have made network resiliency a priority in recent years by investing in redundant circuits from multiple carriers. Our customers, regardless of whether they are business or residential, expect that quality of service. During this incident, however, our redundant circuits from other providers were quickly overwhelmed due to the internet traffic being rerouted. To reduce the impact on our customers, we procured emergency bandwidth capacity from those other carriers , and by later on the 26th, traffic was flowing a a normal rate from our customers to the Internet, and voice calls were being completed, except where other providers still had issues. Of course, the key to network resiliency is having sufficient redundant links on diversified paths from different providers. Because of these network investments, along with the dedication of our personnel, we were able to minimize the harm from this extraordinary event and provide the quality of service our customers expect. And, because communications networks and operations are always evolving, we are already evaluating this Christmas Day event to determine how we can further enhance our network reliability and performance.
White Cloud Communications is not alone in its dedication to providing robust, reliable, resilience service. We are part of America’s Communications Association, whose members, smaller broadband providers, have invested and continue to invest billions of dollar annually in their communications infrastructure. Over the past year during the COVID emergency, the networks of these smaller providers like White Cloud Communications reliably offered the high performance broadband services that their customers required to engage in telework, online learning, and telehealth and so many other critical activities. And, they also invested to make their networks resilient to lessen the harms from extraordinary events, whether they are weather disasters or other unusual events.
It will take time to analyze all the fallout from the Nashville bombing on our communications infrastructure. Even while we were prepared and are proud we got back to normal operations so quickly, we along with all providers should use this opportunity to reexamine our infrastructure and address shortcomings. We are particularly concerned about the reliability of our nations 911 infrastructure, which too often relies on a limited number of paths from the same provider. Government agencies should focus their attention on addressing these 911 issues promptly with long term fixes. In the end, White Cloud Communications and the other members of America’s Communications Association understand their customers rely upon them for essential communications connectivity, and all of us will continue to strive to provide the communications services our customers need – no matter what events come our way.