Verizon, BellSouth Ready for Charley

Both Verizon and BellSouth are preparing for Hurricane Charley

August 13, 2004

3 Min Read

MIAMI -- Having withstood the heavy winds and rains of Hurricane Bonnie, BellSouth's network in Florida is ready to face the threat of Hurricane Charley. BellSouth has extensive preparations in place to maintain telephone service for our customers throughout natural disasters, with network teams on stand-by and closely monitoring the progression of Hurricane Charley.

BellSouth's preparations include its ready, reliable network and back-up power generators available in all the Southeast coastal states in the event of possible electric power failures.

"Florida has set the standard for hurricane and disaster preparedness in the BellSouth region," said Scott Mulcahy, senior vice president of BellSouth Network Services in Florida. "Our customers have learned that BellSouth's network is resilient and reliable. This year, we are as ready as ever to maintain the excellent service they've learned to count on."

The first major threat to telecommunications services during and after a storm is an electrical power outage that could cut off service for telecommunications switching offices and area distribution facilities. To prevent such interruption of service, BellSouth provides immediate back-up through batteries followed by electric power provided by diesel-powered electric generators that are either permanently installed in facilities or temporarily stored in warehouses throughout the Southeast.

To further ensure reliability, the BellSouth network also includes SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) rings that provide instantaneous network redundancy or instantaneous backup connections in the possible event of a fault. And in the rare event of a damaged cable due to storms or flooding, BellSouth maintains radio equipment to regenerate communications signals wherever necessary.

BellSouth Corp.

BALTIMORE -- Verizon officials are preparing for Hurricane Charley in anticipation of its expected move up the East Coast. Technicians are double-checking the backup power systems that continue to provide phone service to customers whenever commercial power is lost and are prepared to sandbag low-lying equipment locations if necessary, and management is prepared to send extra crews into storm-damaged areas.

"We know that local and long-distance phone service and, especially, emergency services such as 911 are critical during times like these," said Christopher M. Creager, Verizon's senior vice president of network services in the Mid-Atlantic region. "The bottom line is, Verizon is prepared and will do its absolute best to continue to provide service when a powerful storm strikes."

All Verizon central offices - which perform the essential functions of supplying dial tone and routing calls and data transmissions for customers - are equipped with backup batteries or generators that kick in automatically if the electrical power supply is interrupted. In addition, other critical parts of the network located away from the central offices have battery backups.

Verizon's nationwide network is monitored round the clock, and the company has the ability to re-route traffic around some areas that might be damaged by the storm, ensuring the continued flow of inter-city and long-distance voice and data traffic, Creager added.

In the event service is lost in Verizon's territory, repair crews will begin restoring service once it is deemed safe to work. If necessary, Verizon is prepared to dispatch additional technicians to an area where help is needed to repair individual lines and cables that might be damaged by heavy rain, strong winds or fallen trees.

Customers can help by being patient and by limiting reports of trouble to only one call.

Verizon Communications Inc.

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