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AT&T investing millions to bury fiber-optic cables damaged in Ida

Results AT&T
Posted at 1:52 PM, Oct 20, 2021

AT&T is investing tens of millions of dollars to strengthen its network in Louisiana against hurricanes and tropical storms by burying fiber-optic lines in some of the areas hit worst by Hurricane Ida.

The project's primary focus will be in parts of the Bayou parishes and in and around the New Orleans area, including Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, St. Charles, St. James, and Terrebonne Parishes. AT&T plans to complete a majority of the work this year, with the project expected to be complete in the first half of 2022.

Hurricane Ida's 150 mph maximum sustained winds caused multiple cuts to key fiber-optic lines in storm-impacted areas, according to AT&T. The network connects businesses and residents in communities statewide and provides critical backhaul for AT&T's wireless network. The new project will help enhance network resiliency in future storms, AT&T said.

“I am proud of the tremendous work that has been done by our AT&T team to restore services quickly and effectively,” said Sonia Perez, President AT&T Southeast States. “Having said that, we learn from every disaster event and make enhancements, and we are doing the same here. This critical project is the beginning of our work to apply constructive learnings from the impacts of Hurricane Ida.”

Ida caused "significant impacts" to AT&T's Louisiana network; the day after Ida made landfall, AT&T reported its wireless network was operating at 60% of normal and there were large outages in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas due to flooding, power outages, and storm damage.

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