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Press Release -- December 29th, 2020
Source: AT&T

Nashville Recovery Efforts

Monday, December 28, 2020, 5:00 p.m. CST

Nearly all services have been restored following Friday’s explosion in Nashville. Engineers have completed multi-discipline inspections of the building. Despite the tremendous impact of the blast, they have confirmed that the damage, including structural, is repairable. Additionally, we will be able to safely continue operating our equipment to serve our customers. Our engineers are currently designing permanent repairs to the building that will be completed without significant service interruptions.

We continue to operate the facility on generator power and are working on bringing commercial power from street level into the building. Restoration and recovery work will continue until the remaining wireline services that have been affected by this event are operating normally. Our technical teams have a priority list for any services that may need to be restored via our onsite fleet of disaster recovery equipment.

We are extending relief to our wireline voice customers who may be affected by the explosion. We will be waiving domestic, long-distance voice overage charges through the holiday season for affected customers from December 25 to January 1. This is in addition to our previously announced relief for wireless customers.

We’ll continue to provide additional updates here as our recovery progresses.

Monday, December 28, 2020, 8:30 a.m. CST

The majority of services have been restored in Nashville following Friday’s explosion. Our mobility network is now operating normally, nearly all home internet and video customers have been restored and our business customers are coming back online.  As a reminder, we are waiving data overage charges for customers in 1166 zip codes across states like Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois and Missouri from December 27 to December 31.

As of late Sunday evening, adequate power is available on most floors of the building.  We continue to manage power needs to prevent overloading the generators supporting our equipment. Our teams have been closely monitoring temperatures in the building as well to keep equipment running. Plans are being developed today to begin restoring commercial power on some floors.

Recovery work will continue today as we address the few remaining services and customers that still may be impacted by this event.  Twenty-three of our disaster recovery technology and support trailers arrived in Nashville yesterday.  This equipment will be critical as we maintain service and make repairs in the days ahead.

We still have 11 portable cell sites running in the region to support customers and first responders.  We have begun to turn down portable sites that are no longer needed given the recovery of service, but we will have resources standing by in the region as needed.

We’ll continue to provide additional updates here as our recovery progresses.

Sunday, December 27, 2020, 4:15 p.m. CST

A message to our customers: 

The explosion that devastated downtown Nashville in the early hours of Christmas morning did more than knock out communications for many of you. It shook your peace of mind and scarred the community that you call home. AT&T is a part of that community. We live here. We do business here. And we’re in this with you.

The AT&T building on 2nd Avenue suffered significant damage in the blast. That facility includes connection points for regional internet services as well as local wireless, internet and video. In the hours that followed the explosion, our local service remained intact through temporary battery power. Unfortunately, a combination of the explosion and resulting water and fire damage took out a number of backup power generators intended to provide power to the batteries. That led to service disruptions across parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama. More than 48 hours later, some customers are still experiencing outages. We know it is frustrating and we  apologize for the inconvenience. We also thank you for your understanding.

What has made network restoration so difficult is doing it while maintaining the integrity of an active crime scene in cooperation with federal and local law enforcement. Hundreds of employees – our own AT&T employees as well as first responders – have stepped in over the last two days to restore service. We’ve restored power to multiple floors in the building and deployed over 25 temporary satellite cell towers and 24 additional trailers of disaster recovery equipment across the impacted area.

Given its importance to customers and first responders, we prioritized restoration of wireless service. As of now, 96% of our wireless network is restored, 60% of our business services are restored, and 86% of our consumer broadband and entertainment services are restored. It is our goal to restore all service late today.

I am proud to work with so many dedicated individuals who left their family holiday celebrations and willingly answered the call to work non-stop over the last few days to restore service under some extremely challenging conditions.

Keeping you connected is always our priority. With this extended outage and the complicated recovery, the right thing is to waive wireless data overages in the impacted area during this time. Impacted customers can receive credits for their service charges as well.

Our buildings have been damaged, but our determination to serve you and our community is undeterred. You have my commitment that we’ll continue to work around the clock until service is restored. And we will continue to prioritize the security of all our facilities that serve customers across the nation.

We will keep you posted on the status of our recovery here on this site.

Jeff Signature.jpg
Jeff McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications

Sunday, December 27, 2020, 12:30 p.m. CST

Progress continues on our restoration efforts today. More than 75% of mobility sites affected by the explosion on Friday have now been restored and we expect additional improvements as more equipment comes back online.  Mobility service in the Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama areas is now operating normally.

We continue to connect generator power to equipment and refuel generators as needed. We expect to activate power to at least four additional floors of the building during the day today and are working on the cooling equipment to manage the temperatures in the facility. Teams are assessing equipment on the building’s lower floors for any damage caused by the flooding of the building.

We’ll continue to provide additional updates here as our recovery progresses.

Sunday, December 27, 2020, 8:20 a.m. CST

Significant progress was made in our restoration efforts overnight. Power was restored to 4 floors of the building. So far, more than 65% of mobility sites affected by the explosion on Friday have been restored.  Yesterday, more than three feet of water was pumped out of the building’s basement, but access to the lower floors of the building is still limited.

Teams are working to safely bring additional equipment online and reroute services through other facilities in the region. While mobility services have been restored in many areas, we still have more than 17 portable cell sites on the air to aid in communication, including for restoration teams and first responders. We are bringing in additional resources to support the recovery of wireline voice and data services and expect to have a fleet of 24 additional trailers of disaster recovery equipment on site by the end of the day.

Today our teams are working on adding additional cabling and more generators to provide more power into the building for our equipment and the restoration efforts.  We continue to assess the damage to the facility and have confirmed that the building’s commercial power connections are damaged and offline. We are working with the local power utility on repairs. In addition, there is other significant damage to the building from the blast, including to the elevators, some beams/columns, and the building’s façade.

We’ll provide additional updates here as our recovery progresses.

Saturday, December 26, 2020, 4:50 p.m. CST

We continue to make progress in our restoration following this devastating explosion. We are completing our work as quickly and as safely as possible. We are beginning to restore power to the facilities in the building after connecting generators through the walls. We are hopeful this equipment may be back online in the hours ahead.  We worked with the Fire Marshal and local officials to ensure this was done safely.

We are pleased to report that we have restored much of the mobility services that were affected in the Lexington, Kentucky area.  We will continue to bring more areas back online as quickly as possible. In Nashville, we have deployed more than 6 portable cell sites to aid in communication including for restoration teams and first responders. We have additional assets in route for deployment in the region.

Additionally, we are contributing $100,000 to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation to support area businesses impacted by the recent explosion and to help law enforcement collect information for their ongoing investigation. We are proud to call Nashville home and to be working alongside First Responders and community leaders who are exhibiting the strength of this community.

Saturday, December 26, 2020, 1:50 p.m. CST

Saturday, December 26, 2020, 8:30 a.m. CST

Our teams continue to work around the clock on recovery efforts from yesterday morning’s explosion in Nashville.  We have two portable cell sites operating in downtown Nashville with numerous additional portable sites being deployed in the Nashville area and in the region.

At our facility, the focus of the restoration continues to be getting power to the equipment in a safe and secure way.  Challenges remain, including a fire which reignited overnight and led to the evacuation of the building.  Currently, our teams are on site working with safety and structural engineers. They have drilled access holes into the building and are attempting to reconnect power to critical equipment. Technical teams are also working as quickly as possible on rerouting additional services to other facilities in the region to restore service.

We continue to be grateful for the work of first responders as they respond to this event and help protect our team working to restore service for our customers.

We’ll provide additional updates here as our recovery progresses.

Friday, December 25, 2020, 5:00 p.m. CST

We’re putting the full-force of our disaster recovery efforts into responding to this morning’s explosion in Nashville, including bringing in regional resources and our National Disaster Recovery teams.

Power is essential to restoring wireless and wireline communications and we are working with law enforcement to get access to our equipment and make needed repairs. Given the damage to our facility it will take time to restore service. We have already rerouted significant traffic from this facility and are bringing in other equipment, including numerous portable cell sites to the area.

There are serious logistical challenges to working in a disaster area and we will make measurable progress in the hours and days ahead. We’re grateful for the work of law enforcement as they investigate this event while enabling us to restore service for our customers.

We’ll continue to provide updates here as our recovery progresses.

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