09.17.1999Corporate

Bell Atlantic Hurricane Floyd Update - 11 a.m. 9/17: Technicians Repairing at Least 45,000 Customer Outages, Ninety-Nine Switching Centers on Backup Power


Bell Atlantic Hurricane Floyd Update - 11 a.m. 9/17: Technicians Repairing at Least 45,000 Customer Outages, Ninety-Nine Switching Centers on Backup Power

Overall Network Continues to Perform Well In Wake of Flooding and High Winds


September 17, 1999





Media
contact:

Mark Marchand,
518-396-1080

John Bonomo,
212-395-0500


NEW YORK - Bell Atlantic technicians are tackling at least 45,000 customer outages left in the wake of Hurricane Floyd's heavy winds and flooding along the East Coast. The number of customers out of service is expected to increase later in the day as some residents who had to evacuate return home.

In addition, 99 of the company's call-routing centers are operating on emergency backup power, after losing commercial electrical power. These switching offices are located in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. All of the company's switching offices have either diesel generator or batteries that keep the offices supplying dial tone when power is lost.

Heavy flooding has damaged the Bell Atlantic switching office in Rochelle Park, New Jersey, in the New York suburbs, knocking out links to other areas and voice mail for local customers. Backup power is working, so that the approximately 35,000 local customers there can make local calls. However, they cannot call outside their local exchange or receive calls from outside the area. This same problem affects customers in some 20 surrounding exchanges who can still make local calls within their areas but who cannot make or receive calls from outside the area served by the 20 exchanges.

The company expects that it will be able to get into the Rochelle Park building sometime after 1 p.m. to begin assessing damage and making repairs.

"We have all hands on deck to restore service to customers as quickly as possible," said Arnie Eckelman, Bell Atlantic president and chief operating officer, consumer. "We are moving technicians from construction and installation centers to our repair teams to help speed the process."

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines and nearly 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.

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