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Telecom majors prepared this time to face Chennai floods

Telecommunication was a major cause of concern during the 2015 floods as exchanges across the city went down, leaving people struggling to get Internet or mobile connectivity to contact their loved ones. Amid the 2021 floods, Chennai Telephones, a unit of BSNL, has been making arrangements to ensure connectivity does not get impacted in the city.

VK Sanjeevi, Chief General Manager of BSNL, told TNIE the heavy rains on Sunday impacted 15 exchanges, including the Adyar Telephone Exchange, one Chennai’s largest. Now, all of them are running and steps have been taken to ensure water ingress does not happen.

But of the 372 exchanges under Chennai Circles, which consist of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur and Chengalpattu districts, some are in low-lying areas. “If the floodwater rises above three or four feet, the equipment would automatically shut with the power connection being switched off,” says Sanjeevi.

To ensure the city remains connected either through broadband, wireless, or through mobile network, telephone companies have been installing batteries and generators.

Sanjeevi says BSNL has battery support for four hours in urban areas of Chennai, after which they rely on generators. Other operators, such as Airtel, have also been ensuring their services don’t black out. An Airtel spokesperson said that despite the heavy rains, their network held up. The New Indian Express

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