The Company's Network Operations Center (NOC) is in New Orleans on the 3rd floor of the AMOCO Building at 1340 Poydras St. Situated a short walk from the SuperDome, our first and primary switch and data center, referred to as the Network Operation Center has run steadily since 2002 when the Lucent Technologies 5ESS switch and other assets were acquired from a failed CLEC Columbia Telecommunications (a.k.a. Axessa). The NOC also houses the Company's primary data center and collocation facilities.
AccessCom, Inc. acquired the facilities and licenses of Columbia Telecommunications (Axessa) in 2001 in Federal Bankruptcy Chapter 11 reorganization. The Federal Court favorably discharged AccessCom from the bankruptcy in June of 2004.
Reception area (left). Adjacent conference room (middle). A view from the switch room (right). Click a photo to enlarge.
With the switch, we have continued to build upon the infrastructure started by Columbia Telecommunications to create a state-of-the art network architechture and service delivery system to rival any competitor. Our current infrastructure has diverged greatly from what we aqcuired back in 2001. The NOC is now home to unique technologies that gives us an advantage against the competition.
Employees assembling racks (left). A view from the switch room (middle). The reception area with aXessa logo before it was acquired by AccessCom (right). Click a photo to enlarge.
AccessCom’s Multi-Protocol Label Switched (MPLS) network is one of only a few networks in the nation delivering MPLS services from the core to the edge and even beyond the edge to customers’ premises.
The products of FastPath Technology are immediately put to use by our NOC to help AccessCom stay ahead of the curve.
Hurricane Katrina stampeded through Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast in August of 2005 with a devastating force of destruction that severely impacted New Orleans and the surrounding region. The repercussions remained with us and continue affecting those living in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast. Recent hurricanes (Gustav and Ike) have reinforced the vulnerability of the Gulf Coastal Region.
AccessCom's NOC is typically "hurricane proof", but the potential direct hit of a Category 4 storm (Katrina) on New Orleans forced the evacuation of all AccessCom personnel. The NOC lost power several times during Katrina's approach and the Generator failed to recover after several starts and stops. All battery power was diminished within 17 hours and remained down until an AccessCom Disaster Recovery team arrived 34 hours later. AccessCom has taken steps to rectify the cause of generator failure and we are confident in the NOC's ability to remain up throughout any future eventuality.
AccessCom's Disaster Recovery Teams experienced the shock and awe of Katrina's effects and experienced many painful stories about the people who remained in New Orleans. The first teams arrived while evacuees were still holed up at the Superdome and set to work restoring power to the facilities. As power was restored, so were data services and on-network phone service to our enterprise customers. Links to BellSouth's primary tandems remained down due to catastrophic failure of the Bell PSTN.
With 26% of our customers underwater (either literally or figuratively) AccessCom turned its attention to servicing the few remaining New Orleans customers and its core customers in the Bayou Region who were largely unaffected by Hurricane Katrina. After three days, PSTN interconnection was restored which allowed most AccessCom customers in the New Orleans Central Business District and, practically all of our customers in the state to witness restoration of their voice services.
The ensuing days were both dramatic and dangerous. Under the call of martial law, New Orleans had become a swath of dangerous territory along the Mississippi River. Civilians and authorities alike spent their days openly armed. No one felt suspicious or uncomfortable if you carried a weapon. Everyone understood a means of self-defense was elevated to a necessity when the stories of violence and lawlessness came pouring out, injected into our psyche by media reports. AccessCom thanks Sheriff Jerry larpenter of Terrebonne Parish who saw to it that our Recovery Teams were properly outfitted with bullet proof vests. He also provided S.W.A.T. escorts for a 1,000 gallon fuel delivery that was delivered through high water in a Sheriff's deuce-and-a-half carrying a Circulation Tools fuel tank.
While the National Guard made their daily patrols through what were mostly vacated streets, AccessCom was busy keeping our generators running and transporting daily shipments of food and fuel into the city. AccessCom delivered food and water daily to support the AccessCom Recovery Teams and the excess was given to needy evacuees. In an effort to help the visiting police, first responders and National Guard, Free telephone service was setup outside the Amoco building on Poydras so that members of the police, stubborn folks and anyone else who remained could contact their friends and families. Landline and cellular service in general was non-existent in the City. It remained that way for almost three weeks.
Click a photo to enlarge.
While the National Guard made their daily patrols through what were mostly vacated streets, we were busy keeping our generators running and transporting daily shipments of diesel fuel into the city. Free telephone service was setup outside the Amoco building on Poydras so that members of the National Guard, the police, stubborn folks and anyone else who remained could contact their friends and families. Landline and cellular service in general was non-existent in the City. It remained that way for almost three weeks.