The following statement is from Russ Preite, president – Southeast Market:
Just five days after Hurricane Irma paved a destructive path through the state of Florida, Verizon's network continues to show its resiliency, with close to 97% of our facilities in Florida in service. Our network engineers have been working around the clock to restore service and make repairs to the network, and they won't rest until the remaining 3 percent of sites are back serving customers.
Considerable progress has been made in the Florida Keys. This week, we deployed two SPOTs (Satellite Picocells on Trailers) to assist the Florida Department of Law Enforcement with their recovery efforts. SPOTs are stand-alone cell sites delivering LTE and voice services that are powered with a generator and rely on satellite connection so no wired connections are required.
Massive refueling operations continue so that towers without commercial power can remain in service via backup generators. Our mobile equipment fleet has been deployed throughout Florida, with more 100 portable generators currently in use.
Our Retail, Operations and IT teams have also been working nonstop to reopen our stores, with all but three of our company-owned retail locations in Florida open for business today to serve the local community. Residents are invited to come in and charge their devices, regardless of their wireless provider. Visit our Store Locator site for more information.
Two Wireless Emergency Communication Centers (WECCs) continue to be stationed in Naples near the areas hardest hit by the storm. WECCs are generator-powered mobile units that have device charging, computer workstations and wireless phones, tablets and other devices for residents to contact friends, family and other important contacts using our network. Those are located behind our Pine Ridge store and at Naples Community Hospital North. A SPOT was also deployed in Naples to help ensure our customers in the area can stay connected.