Home AT&T unleashes drones to aid in Hurricane Harvey relief

AT&T unleashes drones to aid in Hurricane Harvey relief

As residents on or near the coast of Texas continue to try to pick up the pieces of devastation brought on by Hurricane Harvey, the ability to communicate to the outside world has become more and more important. Yesterday, AT&T deployed a fleet of 46 drones to inspect areas in South Texas that have been impacted.

The key goals for the deployment were to check out all the towers, determine the network impact and ensure that customers continue to be able to speak to their loved ones.  A total of 26 drones were sent the day before, prior to sending out the 46 drones yesterday.  AT&T has an additional 58 drones on standby if needed.

See Also: Amazon’s drones will tell you when your house needs work

In natural disaster situations such as this one, drones can often be utilized to inspect areas that aren’t accessible to cars or trucks due to flooding (see our review of the best drones). The use of drones allows for quicker access to these inaccessible areas that could not be inspected otherwise. They can also see parts of the towers that people can’t reach when climbing or see from observing from the ground level.  They also speed up the inspection process of towers overall, because more towers can be studied in a shorter amount of time, freeing up time for making repairs.

AT&T said “Drones can take HD video and photos of a cell site, giving us a birds’ eye view of the tower. This offers high-quality visuals of equipment, components, and cabling so our engineers can remotely view cell sites safely from the ground – all in real time.”

Further help in the works

In addition to the two flights of drones, AT&T plans to deploy 2 Satellite Cell on Wheels (Sat COLTS) to Beaumont, TX.  These will be joining additional assets that are already in place.  AT&T is planning to send 12 more to assist customers and first responders located in that area, due to the second landfall of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Customers who live in these impacted areas will be receiving credits for extra data, voice and text charges, and prepaid credits for extra voice and text charges from the company.

Follow this link to see drone footage shared by AT&T:  https://ql.mediasilo.com/#ql/59a73367e4b0b55905b47c40/ec1edd79-9041-419b-a5a1-45a0d480164a

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.