Staying connected is one of modern life’s top priorities, fueled by the power of today’s always-on technology and entertainment as well as our desire for easy access to the things that matter to us most. Because of this, disruptive and increasingly common events like storms and natural disasters can be that much more challenging. At Comcast, we’re constantly looking at ways to improve the customer experience, from our industry-defining products and services to the ways customers can do business with us. That includes responding to and preparing for the weather, especially knowing Internet and video access are “must haves” during and after storms.
As part of efforts to bring seamless, uninterrupted services to our customers no matter what the weather, we’ve recently introduced a fleet of high-efficiency mobile generators to our arsenal of preventative tools and processes. Nicknamed Watts on Wheels, the generators will be placed around Comcast’s Northeast Division including Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland, and can be easily moved to help areas in need and fortify our ability to respond to issues that often are detected and resolved well before they impact customers.
We place top priority on the safest, most proactive and effective management of our network’s reliability. During inclement weather, this includes coordinating closely with power companies and local and state emergency workers as well as increasing staffing and strategically placing employees with back-up generators and other supplies. Because storms often interrupt commercial power, directly disrupting our services, the use of generators is crucial. Watts on Wheels will help us keep customers connected or get them back up and running more quickly.
“The addition of the Watts on Wheels fleet reduces our dependence on rental generators from third parties, which are in demand more than ever as bad weather cycles increase,” said Ben Strunk, Senior Director of Engineering for Power and Infrastructure for Comcast’s Northeast Division. “Our ability to deploy generators nearly anywhere they’re needed gives us a crucial edge in responding to severe weather situations or other challenges that require creative solutions.”
Quieter, more efficient
Comcast’s high-efficiency generators use ultra-low sulfur diesel and are designed to capture particulate, reducing pollution output. They feature “whisper quiet” operation, rated at less than 65 decibels (dB), making for far less noise in communities where generators are deployed. For comparison, a washing machine operates at 55 dB, a crying baby can generate 100-115 dB and normal commercial generators can range from 100-130 dB.
Additionally, the generator units are equipped to serve as WiFi hotspots and mobile device charging stations, ideally suited for use by the general public in areas hard-hit by weather or disasters.
“Adding resiliency and reliability to our incident management is a major benefit for customers, even if they’re not always aware because we address problems before they hit home,” said Strunk. “As storms and bad weather hit, we’ll be even more flexible and nimble, and that’s a great news story.”
Here’s how customers can make sure they stay connected during unpredictable weather events.
Download our free apps:
- Xfinity My Account – get updates on outages, report service interruptions, and see when service is expected to be restored
- Xfinity Voice customers can send and receive texts from the home telephone number and listen to voicemail
- Xfinity Stream – Xfinity TV customers can download shows and movies beforehand to watch offline if power is lost
- Xfinity WiFi Hotspots – Xfinity Internet customers can access millions of Xfinity WiFi hotspots available nationwide
Stay informed about services, in real time: if the weather becomes severe enough, we may send text alerts with information about storms, service interruptions or with helpful hints for restoring service. Sign in to My Account and make sure your phone number is added.