Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) and Wireless Priority Service (WPS) Performance during Katrina

P. McGregor, R. Craighill, and V. Mosley (USA)


Network Management, Applications and Case Studies, Network Performance, Traffic


GETS and WPS are provided by the National Communications System (NCS) of the United States to authorized leaders and key staff of the National Security and Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) community. GETS and WPS are designed to provide their subscribers who are served by surviving assets of the public telecommunications infrastructure, a high likelihood of call completion even though severe congestion is causing most other calls to be blocked. Analysis of call records and related Operational Measurements (OMs) of GETS and WPS calls made during and shortly after Hurricane Katrina (August 29 through September 9, 2005), indicates GETS and WPS performed as planned. GETS completed about 94% of its NS/EP calls and WPS completed about 84% although severe damage and congestion were giving conventional calls an estimated completion rate of less than 10%. Analysis of NS/EP call holding times indicate they are similar to conventional calls (i.e., about a four minute average for answered calls).

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