For more than a century, networks have been central to the activities of telecoms operators. They keep us connected to the world. Their robustness, along with an operator’s reactivity to any outage, are fundamental to trust. Discover how Orange is committed to tackling crisis situations to ensure customers are not cut off.
Civil engineering works accidentally cutting lines, bad weather or theft of copper cables are all unforeseen events that operators must overcome when restoring the essential network as quickly as possible.
When communication becomes vital in the event of a natural disaster, operators have to act quickly. Restoring telephony enables emergency services to provide assistance and protection to victims. Mobile connectivity is a priority to open up disaster relief, with internet and fixed telephony following on after.
Orange plays a key role in a crisis.
Orange is committed to ensuring network uptime and also proactively plans recovery processes in case of unforeseen events.
Every time an Orange network is affected, restoring the service for telephone and internet customers is the priority for the Group and employees.
Cables and equipment can be flooded, severed, or suffer a power cut. A national technical response team then delivers and sets up temporary equipment with onsite technicians and reinforcements from other regions: pumps to extract flood water, generators, mini base stations, emergency cables etc.
Technicians guarantee the gradual return of sustainable communication channels through repairing and rebuilding the affected infrastructure.
Two events highlighting Orange’s commitment.
The devastated islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy, cut off from the world by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, were reconnected thanks to the immediate response of technicians.
Employees on the island, even though they themselves were affected by the hurricanes, Orange technicians and experts from all regions of France worked side by side for several weeks to repair the networks, often in very difficult conditions.
As soon as the mobile networks were reconnected and airports reopened in collaboration with public authorities, people could be repatriated and vital supplies could get through.
Urgent voluntary aid enabled victims to contact their relatives. Connected mobile phones were distributed by Orange throughout Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy via the Red Cross. Retail employees coordinated WiFi and electricity provision.
The flash floods that hit Aude and Hérault in October 2018 also saw an immediate response from Orange teams. Destroyed telephone cabinets in the town centre, damaged overhead lines under broken roads, cables flooded with pebbles and mud, the infrastructure damage was considerable. With the help of technicians, engineers, project managers and experts, service was reinstated for most customers in less than a week.
During the floods back in October, we received an emergency call out to Conques-sur-Orbiel, at night, in the pitch black. I have 41 years' experience in the business but I have never seen such damage. The priority was to restore the mobile network so that our customers could get through to the emergency services. What impressed me was the team’s service spirit, our responsiveness and our efficiency.
There was at least 1.3m of water in the central cabinet. As soon as the water was pumped out we could repair the mobile antenna and reconnect to the fibre, which is water resistant. By the next day, people from surrounding villages could make calls.
Building a reputation as a trusted operator.
When facing crisis situations together, Orange employees show great commitment and professionalism. Overcoming difficulties and restoring service quickly demonstrates to individuals, communities and companies that they can rely on their operator.
Beyond disasters, Orange is working to build, maintain, adapt and develop its networks to continually improve connectivity that everyone needs today and tomorrow. Network technicians and experts therefore treat every day as a critical day to help us communicate more easily wherever we are.