Bell Atlantic Hurricane Floyd Update:
At Least 50 Call-Routing Centers on Backup
Company Ready to Move Technicians to
Overall Bell Atlantic Network Continues to Perform Well as
Storm Moves up East Coast
September 16, 1999
NEW YORK -- At least 50 of Bell Atlantic's call-routing centers are
continuing to provide dial tone using emergency power, as Hurricane
Floyd moves up the East Coast.
In addition, company technicians are working to repair 14 major cable
problems related to flooding. The company also is making plans to move
technicians to areas hit hard by the storm.
Despite the technical problems caused by high winds and as much as a
foot and a half of rain in some places, the overall Bell Atlantic network
continues to perform well in the face of Hurricane Floyd.
The approximately 50 central call-routing offices began operating on
emergency backup power when commercial electrical power was lost
during the storm. All of Bell Atlantic's call-routing centers have backup
generator or battery power. The centers running on emergency power are
in Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware,
Maryland and New York.
Calls to the company's repair centers are running higher than normal. In
Bell Atlantic's southern states, calls to the repair center are nearly twice as
high as normal and volumes are expected to grow in the northern states
during the evening.
Also, the company's network is experiencing heavy usage as home-bound
customers either work from home or dial into the Internet. This is not
unusual for times of severe weather, but call volumes at times during the
day Thursday were more than twice the volume during the same period
one week ago.
"Thus far, all of our preparations are allowing us to continue serving
the vast majority our customers in the face of Floyd's heavy rain and high
winds," said Bell Atlantic's Arnie Eckelman, president and chief
operating officer, consumer.
"We're ready to move some of our technicians to hard-hit areas, if
necessary," Eckelman added. "This is our top priority:
continue serving our customers in the face of challenges such as
Bell Atlantic has already moved some employees from installation groups
to repair teams. This may mean a delay in some routine, scheduled
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.