Largest-Ever Network Disaster Recovery Exercise

recovery trailer

AT&T is holding the largest ever network disaster recovery exercise. This trailer (see picture, credit AT&T) for example can carry all IP traffic for a city.

AT&T is conducting its largest ever Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) exercise at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, DC from July 8 to 17, 2009.

The AT&T NDR exercise is being held in concert with the AT&T Business Continuity Forum. Rex A, Whitacre, Chief, IT Operations, IT Directorate, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, will deliver the keynote address at the AT&T Business Continuity Forum, on Tuesday, July 14th, at 10:00 am. The AT&T Business Continuity Forum is expected to draw several hundred government and business leaders and will take place at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Conducted several times per year, AT&T NDR exercises are designed to test, evaluate, refine, and strengthen how well AT&T can facilitate recovery from emergency situations, ranging from hurricanes to wildfires. The NDR exercise is a key component of AT&T?s comprehensive business continuity plan which ensures communications can be restored quickly to its government and business customers. By conducting an NDR exercise, AT&T can strengthen its business continuity and disaster response services in order to minimize network downtime.

The AT&T NDR Washington, DC exercise is the 54th technical recovery exercise conducted in the field and the largest exercise the NDR team has ever conducted. The NDR exercise will feature more than 45 disaster recovery trailers and vehicles, including 28 semi-tractor trailers, two emergency communications vehicles, four hazmat trailers, one Satellite COLT (cell on light truck), and five smaller utility and support trailers.

Last year, AT&T announced that the NDR team consolidated wireless, wired and backbone network recovery capabilities, enabling AT&T to bring an integrated approach to disaster recovery that helps ensure the flow of both wireless and wired communications during times of need.

?With hurricane season underway, the importance of ensuring communications combined with the need to be fully prepared is critical for both government and business,? said Kevin Peters, executive vice president of AT&T’s Global Network Operations. ?With the AT&T NDR Exercise, our federal, state and local government agency and Washington metropolitan area business customers can get a firsthand look at how AT&T?s integrated approach to disaster recovery can help them maintain communications during a disaster.?

During the last 15 years, AT&T has invested more than $500 million in its NDR program which includes specially trained managers, engineers and technicians from across the United States, as well as a fleet of more than 300 self-contained equipment trailers and support vehicles that house the same equipment and components as an AT&T data-routing or voice-switching center.

The NDR team also includes a single National Security Emergency Preparedness management team, which works directly with federal, state and local government agencies to prepare disaster response strategies and coordinate recovery efforts.

Since 1992, the NDR team has been activated more than a dozen times in response to disasters, including restoring service after the tornadoes in Oklahoma in 1999; the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001; Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005; and Hurricanes Gustav, Dolly and Ike in 2008.

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