Southern Company Electric Utilities
"From a storm center perspective, it has been very beneficial to be able to communicate with the storm team during the entire trip. The convenience has been an incredible asset to us. We never lost communication and had great service the entire time the team was in Chicago. It again worked flawlessly for us in Baltimore for Hurricane Irene."
- Pam Boyd, Alabama Power's Storm Center Head
Hurricane Irene gave crews from all four operating companies – Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power – an opportunity to use SouthernLINC services outside of the Southern Linc Regional Service Area for the first time since its roll-out of nationwide push-to-talk, cellular, text and data services in April 2011. Gulf Power service tech Rhett McSween recalls numerous instances of storm work outside the Southeast when radio contact didn't work and the team leader would have to go to each crew individually to tell it when a line was hot. "Sometimes we couldn't radio each other when we were only 100 yards away," he said. McSween's work following Irene was "100 percent better" because of the new nationwide Push To Talk service. "What was even better was the ability to go private and communicate with individual trucks. It was almost like we were working in our home area," he said.
Download and read the full story (pdf)
Southern Linc improved communications for Southern Company utilities in the following ways:
- Reliability: Since Southern Linc built its system with back-up batteries, generators and towers designed to withstand severe ice and winds, Southern Company utilities can connect with all recovery teams even when storms strike numerous locales at the same time. Nationwide Push To Talk and cellular have made it easier for crews to communicate when outside the service territory.
- Interoperability: With Southern Linc, Southern Company teams from individual operating companies can talk with each other and many vendors that support storm response efforts.
- Privacy: Since the Southern Linc network is digital and private, Southern Company utilities do not worry about revealing sensitive information related to storm response calls.
Actual results may vary. Several factors may affect or interfere with the service availability and quality as described above such as, but not limited to, network changes, traffic volume, service outages, weather and your equipment.