WCC Preps Florida For Hurricane Frances
The World Communications Center (WCC) today said it is supplying “hundreds” of its satellite phones that communicate through the Iridium constellation to Florida utilities, county governments, large retail corporations, insurance companies and others to help maintain communications as the state braces for the arrival of Hurricane Frances.
“Situations like this make more people aware about the vulnerabilities of terrestrial networks,” WCC CEO Weldon Knape told Satellite Today. He noted that following Hurricane Charley earlier this year, there were interruptions in both landline and cellular terrestrial communications in the Sunshine State.
And with no interruption in the satellite network during Charley, WCC is seeing growth in both the rentals and purchases of satellite phones. Knape described the activity as about 50-50 sales and rentals. He said the Florida-based customers have been buying small numbers of phones to help ensure maintenance of communications throughout the year, and they are bolstering their backups with rentals as one way of dealing with the pending weather emergency. He described WCC as “scrambling” to meet the demand for the satphones.