GeoLinks Overcomes Thomas Fire Disaster With Help From Mimosa

When the first two fires broke out in Southern California’s Upper Ojai hills, Ryan Adams, President of GeoLinks, and his team stayed up all night to monitor the developing situation. GeoLinks, a California-based wireless ISP, knew that they were directly responsible for the connections of thousands of people in the Southland who could potentially lose their homes. With the foresight to mount cameras on all of their communications towers, Adams and his team were directly connected to the encroaching fires.

And then the unimaginable happened. One by one, the feeds went out. Twelve towers in total. And as all of this unfolded, the calls began. Within minutes, the GeoLinks team was calling and texting hundreds of customers, checking on their safety, informing them of the outages and communicating next steps.

Understanding that natural disasters often happen when you least expect them, GeoLinks’ disaster recovery plan, practiced many times over, proved critical when the moment came. With customers relying on them to access information, GeoLinks knew they had to be highly prepared.

“It was our duty to get our customers up and running,” said Adams. “It’s our responsibility as a telecommunications company to make sure that people have the ability to communicate with one another.”

With a clear understanding of which towers were down and which customers needed help, around 40 GeoLinks employees headed into the fire-ravaged area. They quickly established direct communication with fire, police, and National Guard to ensure a recovery plan that would allow them to proceed safely, not putting any strain on the already vexed first responders. They first restored emergency connectivity, and then proceed zone by zone to restore customers.

“I couldn’t ask for a better team,” said Adams. “Our employees were literally putting out fires as they went to restore service,” said Adams. “We operate under the mantra of safety first, but when they saw a small hotspot, they used the extinguishers on the vans and just put them out.”

As GeoLinks ventured into the fire zone, Mimosa was right there with them. GeoLinks has long preferred Mimosa for its network deployments, installing Mimosa’s wireless broadband equipment across all of its towers. “Mimosa products are optimal for extremely challenging installations,” said Adams. “They are low-power so they can run on solar backup, they’re light-weight and easy to install, and they use unlicensed spectrum which is best for fastest response times.”

The teams started by installing temporary towers and connecting replacement Mimosa backhaul and access networking equipment, powered entirely with solar panels. In most instances, they had the towers up and running before customers had their power restored—many customers didn’t even notice the outages. “We always rely on Mimosa for our day-to-day operations, but in a crisis, Mimosa really shines,” said Adams.

In the end, GeoLinks was able to stabilize their network and join their community in the hard work of rebuilding. “We are a part of this community and are ready to be there again, if needed,” said Adams. “I am very satisfied that thanks to our preparation and the unique benefits of Mimosa’s equipment and technology, our handling of this crisis exceeded expectations for both us and for our customers.”

To learn how Mimosa’s point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless broadband solutions can accelerate your customers’ disaster recovery efforts, check out our “Top 10 Tips on Network Disaster Recovery Plans.”