Vision Communications, RTC and EATEL continuing to assess markets’ damages, make critical repairs to miles of infrastructure, release restoration projections

Published 12:27 pm Thursday, September 16, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

REV Broadband, parent company of Southeast Louisiana’s largest independently owned telecommunications company, continues response to Hurricane Ida’s significant damage and develops restoration timelines

Gonzales, La. – REV Broadband – the parent company of RTCEATELEATEL BusinessVision Communications and VENYU – continues to assess and rapidly respond to significant damage done to its network by the recent and unprecedented impact of Hurricane Ida. To date, nearly 75% of the company’s 2800 miles of fiber optics-based network have been assessed.

In the wake of the storm’s effects on the majority of the provider’s network, crews deployed in Ascension Parish, Grand Isle, Lafourche Parish, Livingston Parish, St. John the Baptist Parish, St. James Parish and the surrounding areas continue to work from sun-up to sun-down in parishes with limited access to vital utilities.

“Our local teams and crews – many of whom have lost their own homes – are assessing and repairing critical parts of our network; prioritizing mission-critical operations such as hospitals and parish-by-parish emergency operations centers,” said Josh Descant, CEO of REV Broadband. “We remain dedicated to repairing and restoring our local network and will continue to work extended hours to make our communities whole again. As a clearer picture comes into focus, our team is beginning to share more restoration timelines.”

Following closely and strategically behind numerous utility partners, REV Broadband estimates the following communities will be reconnected to its services:

  • September 13-19: Dutchtown and Galvez
  • September 20-26: Gonzales, Sorrento, Raceland, Gheens, Mathews and Lockport
  • September 27-October 3: French Settlement, Maurepas, LaPlace, Reserve and Thibodaux
  • October 4-10: Paulina, Vacherie, Garyville, Convent, Cut Off, Edgard, Chackbay, Wallace, Hester and Mount Airy
  • October 11-17: Larose
  • October 18-24: Galliano and Golden Meadow
  • October 25-31: Grand Isle

NOTE: repair and rebuild of network/plant in Grand Isle, Fourchon and Leeville to be determined by restoration of key services by utility partners.

Team members from across all markets and departments continue to be directed to the company’s more-severely-impacted communities. In swift response to the need for additional hands, REV Broadband has hired on 115 supplementary contractors to increase the pace repairs are made as homes and business are re-energized.

Since Hurricane Ida’s destructive march through all three of the local provider’s markets, impacting some 60,000 customers and approximately 100 of REV’s own employees, crews have worked seven days a week and often 11 hours a day. Trained techs, network engineers, routing specialists and customer service agents have worked more than 8400 hours in a coordinated effort to restore services to communities behind the storm’s wide-reaching destruction.

With 52 sites powered by generators in the wake of the storm, the company currently has seen commercial power return to 32 of its own critical sites. While 20 locations remain powered by generators, REV is continuing to refuel generators 24/7 in its RTC and Vision Communications markets to retain power to critical community services.

Since Hurricane Ida, REV broadband has provided a variety of communications support to parish-wide emergency services and businesses such as emergency operations centers, sheriffs’ departments, 911 operations, medical facilities as well as made available business continuity services in the form of emergency office space.

Additionally, community WiFi hotspots have been deployed to several locations throughout REV Broadband’s footprint, including:

  • 1808 W. Airline Hwy, LaPlace (network name: ‘RTC Community Wifi’)
  • 171 Leighton Road, Thibodaux (network name: ‘RTC Community Wifi’)
  • 115 West 10th Blvd, Larose (network name: ‘Vision Community Wifi’)
  • 132 W 111th St., Galliano (network name: ‘Vision Community Wifi’)
  • 178 Ludwig Ln., Grand Isle (network name: ‘Vision Community Wifi’).

While most network outages are currently concentrated in the provider’s RTC and Vision Communications markets, REV Broadband has maintained and or restored more than 36,000 business and residential customers – equating to more than 66% of its customers.

Of the company’s network in Lafourche’s Vision Communications/EATEL Business network, nearly 500 miles of infrastructure were impacted.

In its RTC market serving St. John the Baptist, St. James parishes and parts of northern Lafourche/Thibodaux area, approximately 100 miles of the provider’s network were impacted.

With the arrival of additional contractors, support crews from Ascension are being rerouted to parts of Lafourche, St. James and St. John parishes to help restore, refuel and repair key network infrastructure. Portions of the areas’ infrastructure that have been reenergized are being brought back online when unforeseen cuts to the network’s cabling and wiring system are reconnected – either via aerial/power pole repairs or buried conduit.

REV Broadband’s engineering team continues to explore a myriad of restoration and rebuilding options, including burying lines. Customers are urged to not cut or interfere with any wires – regardless of the utility – as it may be servicing other customers and or critical services and could cause fatal harm.

To stay current regarding restoration timelines and available community WiFi hotspots, customers are encouraged to follow their appropriate provider’s social media pages:

Customers wanting to sign up for text alerts regarding service outages and restoration information may do so by clicking here.

About REV Broadband

Established in 2020, REV Broadband is the parent company of RTC, EATEL, EATEL Business, Vision Communications and VENYU. The combined company serves as Louisiana’s largest telecommunications network with over 2,790 miles of fiber and nearly 400 employees serving more than 60,000 customers. In addition, the company also operates VENYU, a premier provider of cloud hosting, data center and data protection services. VENYU operates a network that spans coast to coast with data centers and partners in Louisiana and across the country.