Sprint among other phone companies responding to Sandy - KCTV5

Sprint among other phone companies responding to Sandy

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

A major disaster like the storm that hit the East Cost drives home how much we depend on cell phones in an emergency.

Seeing cell phone users gathered wherever there is a place to charge up their phones is a common sight in areas caught in Superstorm Sandy's path. Phone companies like Sprint are scrambling to restore service.

The Network Operations Command Center on the Sprint Campus in Overland Park, KS, is the nerve center coordinating a bit of a resolve to the chaos that happened after Superstorm Sandy.

Tech experts inside the Network Operations Command Center or the NOCC continue to keep a close eye on their monitors and on the ongoing recoveries on the East Coast.

"Here in this center they really do have a bird's eye view as to what's going on within the entire nation, but also specifically what's going on with the hurricane recovery efforts," Sprint spokesperson Melinda Tiemeyer said.

The Sprint network, like every other cell phone carrier, went down in Superstorm Sandy, leaving a restoration project that the companies will remember a long time.

"This was pretty big, this was big, this was one of the biggest we've ever seen," said Sprint Director of Network Service Management John Thomas.

Thomas said the command center in Kansas City is helping ground crews providing communication for emergency responders as well as restoring power to the network.

"The main issue that we're up against is power failures," he said. "There's also flooding that's occurring that's also hindering any progress that is out there with recovery efforts."

While Sprint said it can't say how long recovery will take, one thing is sure - 21st century communication is complicated and involves more than a person who thinks when they pick up their cell phone.

Sprint said three-fourths of its network is back up in New York City. The company continues to work in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and all along the East Coast. Two other companies, AT&T and T-Mobile, have agreed to share networks until they get their system restored.

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