WASHINGTON, July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon is making solid progress in restoring services to wireline and wireless customers affected by the June 29 storm that cut a swath from Virginia to New Jersey.
Verizon on Monday (July 2) resolved the remaining issues that affected calling to northern Virginia 911 centers in Fairfax and Prince William counties, and Manassas and Manassas Park, and all centers are fully operational. The company will continue to work with 911 center staff to ensure their needs are met.
"Verizon recognizes the critical public safety nature of 911 services, and we regret that some customers may have been without access to 911 this past weekend," said Mike Daigle, Verizon vice president of engineering. "Our 911 network is designed so that there is no one single point of failure anywhere in the network that can interrupt 911 service. Unfortunately, the nature and severity of this particular storm damaged multiple Verizon facilities inside and outside of offices in the affected area, and that's what led to the weekend's 911 issues.
"We will thoroughly examine these issues to determine whether any design deficiencies exist, and we will take corrective action if any are found," said Daigle.
Verizon Wireless Regional President Mike Maiorana said, "More than 99 percent of our cell sites are in service in the Washington, northern Virginia and Baltimore areas as of 8 a.m. today, meaning nearly all of our customers have wireless service. There are still a few isolated cell sites out of service across the region that we are working to restore as quickly as possible. The vast majority of Verizon Wireless customers were able to make calls and send texts and surf the Internet before, during and after the storm."
To help residents in the hardest hit areas, Verizon is sending a mobile shelter today to offer assistance to residents without power in the Virginia community of Max Meadows. The air conditioned tent, with room for 12 people, includes satellite phone service, laptops with Internet access and charging stations for wireless devices. In addition, a 53-foot mobile command center trailer truck is on the way to Alexandria. The mobile command center vehicle, which offers similar services as the mobile shelters, was also deployed in Virginia and several other locations along the East Coast to help citizens and local governments during Hurricane Irene last summer.
The widespread loss of commercial power has affected several hundred Verizon wireline facilities in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, many of which continue to function on backup power. The company engineers its network with backup power to provide uninterrupted service in critical facilities such as switching offices and data centers.
"We can understand the frustration customers face with no phone, Internet or TV service," said Daigle. "Verizon has marshaled its forces, and our people are committed to bring service back for customers as quickly as possible."
Even as technicians restore services four days following the storm, Verizon's wireline repair load is running three to four times normal levels. Many customers' voice, Internet and TV services are coming back as commercial power is restored, and Verizon crews are fanned out across the region to replace poles, re-hang downed lines and repair customers' services.
Currently, field forces are responding to 130 downed utility poles and 762 downed copper or fiber cables in the region. The Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County areas of northern Virginia were particularly hard-hit.
Verizon technicians are working extended shifts and, in some cases, round-the-clock as they restore critical services such as 911 and hospitals.
Verizon expects the elevated repair load to continue for several more days before decreasing to normal levels by early next week.
Customers who have a Verizon service issue should call 800-VERIZON (800-837-4966) or visit www.verizon.com/support.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with 93 million retail customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 192,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
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