As the Caribbean prepares for the 2015 hurricane season, which begins on June 1, Cable and Wireless Communications (C&W) has begun to test drone technology that would help expedite network and connectivity restoration in the aftermath of natural disasters such as a hurricane or a tropical storm.

The drones will undertake aerial surveillance of communications infrastructure which will effectively eliminate the need for company personnel to conduct dangerous or risky tower climbs in the aftermath of a storm.

The often-treacherous conditions that exist after a natural disaster not only make it difficult to assess the physical damage to infrastructure, but can also endanger the field technicians sent to fix the issues.

Drones, however, enable quick, safe, and wide-area evaluation of the impact that a hurricane or other natural disaster has on communications infrastructure, therefore enabling C&W’s expert engineering staff to move quickly to re-establish connectivity.

“Hurricanes and tropical storms have been known to cause severe damage to telecoms infrastructure in the Caribbean, including our mobile and fibre masts,” said Carlo Alloni, Group Chief Technology and Information Officer.

“Along with power and water, it is critical that we re-establish communications swiftly in the event that adverse weather conditions cause widespread service disruption. With communications as a linchpin for such relief efforts, we take our role in the recovery process very seriously. Adopting this technology will allow us to respond to our customers needs in a better, safer, and faster manner,” Alloni said.