AUSTIN – Innovative technologies and comprehensive disaster preparedness plans adopted by companies such as Time Warner Cable to protect Texans in times of weather emergencies are yet more examples of the cable industry’s commitment to invest in the most advanced technology to better serve its customers, according to the Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association (TCTA).
TCTA is supporting “Cable: Ready,” an operational and educational initiative recently launched by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) that will help strengthen the nation’s cable infrastructure to deal with natural disasters and other emergencies.
“Cable providers in Texas have spent $2.2 billion of private capital in the last decade to upgrade their systems, and there’s no better investment than the public’s safety,” said Ron McMillan, secretary/treasurer of the TCTA Board of Directors and president of Houston Time Warner Cable. “Helping Texans to protect themselves and to stay connected during dangerous weather is just one advantage of the leading-edge technologies offered only by Time Warner Cable and other cable operators in the state.”
McMillan specifically singled out Time Warner’s newly launched fiber optic rings as technology that is beyond the capability of telephone companies and other communications providers. The fiber optic rings keep a community connected both within itself and with other locations in Texas by providing alternative routes for cable-provided services when one pathway is disabled or disrupted.
“Satellite dishes are highly vulnerable in storms,” McMillan said. “While cable’s services aren’t infallible, the latest technology coupled with other safeguards such as backup power units and relocated distribution lines offer Texans more assurance that their cable-provided telephone, television and Internet will not be interrupted – keeping them connected when they most need to receive and give information.”
TCTA noted that state Sens. Juan Hinojosa, Mike Jackson, Kyle Janek, Eddie Lucio, and Tommy Williams are helping to deliver the “be prepared” message to coastal Texans by appearing in public service announcements to begin running in advance of hurricane season, which begins June 1.
The PSAs detail steps the public can take to be ready for a severe storm before one threatens.
TCTA recognized other disaster preparedness initiatives by the cable industry as part of the national “Cable: Ready” campaign:
Cable system operators across the nation – including Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and Suddenlink that operate in Texas – are reviewing and updating emergency preparedness plans; reaching out to emergency managers, first responders, local government officials and broadcasters to ensure coordination in the event of an emergency; and conducting a fresh assessment of system needs and vulnerabilities.
Lifetime Television has pledged airtime to PSAs created by emergency relief organizations in the wake of any emergency or disaster.
The Cable Hope Fund (www.cablehhopefund.org) established by NCTA in the aftermath of the devastating 2005 hurricanes will continue to collect and disperse charitable contributions from cable industry companies, employees and other donors. Since September 2005, it has distributed more than $700,000 in aid.
TCTA (www.txcable.com) is the primary trade organization for cable operators in Texas.