05.14.2009

New Verizon Business Mobile Command Center Offers Latest Communications Capabilities to Support Company's Response During Natural Disasters and Human-Caused Events

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Verizon Business has introduced a new 51-foot mobile command center equipped with the latest highly sophisticated communications equipment.  The big rig also provides ample space for company employees, public officials and other emergency responders during natural disasters or human-caused events that affect Verizon's communications network in the U.S.


The new vehicle joins a large fleet of Verizon Business emergency disaster-recovery assets the company has deployed following hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, and the April 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.  The fleet, which includes emergency mobile communications vehicles and satellite trailers, is used to help restore network infrastructure as well as provide services to government agencies.


The new vehicle, officially called the Verizon Business Mobile Command Center, operates directly with the Verizon Business National Emergency Coordinating Center (NECC) in Richardson, Texas.  Both units are directed by the business continuance and emergency management team.  The command center also can be used as a backup facility to the NECC if it has to be evacuated or moved for any reason.


[Note: A Verizon Business podcast highlighting the mobile command center is available here.  Photos of the new mobile command center can be downloaded here.]


"This specially designed vehicle is the most durable and self-sufficient mobile command center in the industry," said Verizon Business Director Dick Price.  "We had the center built after conducting extensive research with public safety officials and specialists to make sure we continue to meet our key goal of keeping customers' mission-critical traffic running smoothly."


The massive, shiny silver trailer features four large slide-out sections.  The vehicle can operate on its own for weeks or months as needed, with generator power and routine refueling in the field.


On the outside of the rig are multiple satellite dishes; two 52-foot antenna masts for a variety of radio communications; a complete weather station; a 52-inch external television screen; three external cameras including one that rotates 360 degrees to shoot any type of footage needed during a disaster; and complete exterior lighting for night work.  In addition, hot spots and work stations are built into the side of the rig to enable personnel to work outside the facility.


700-Square-Feet of Space With Worldwide Satellite Links


On the inside, the command center has 700 square feet of space divided into three separate rooms, all connected by sliding doors.  The first room features state-of-the-art communications equipment that serves as the nerve center and can disseminate and relay voice and data communications to any position inside or outside the trailer on site, back to a centralized location via satellite or to Verizon Business offices around the world.


The second room contains an eight-person video conference center with full voice and data capabilities, a 52-inch screen and digital whiteboard connected to the Internet.  During emergencies, this conference room can be used to relay information to other personnel in the area of the operation or at a centralized location, or to contact network equipment vendors in other locations to discuss the situation on the ground.


The third and largest area inside the trailer is the emergency operations center, with a 42-inch TV screen and 11 individual work stations.  Each station includes a video display with nine video sources to select from including television news, weather and local news reports, and external cameras; voice-over-IP phone; an intercom headset so others are not disturbed during individual conference calls; a selection of numerous audio sources; computer docking capabilities; Internet and LAN access for employees; and numerous outlets to plug in various wireless devices.


When Verizon Business designed the mobile command post, the company not only wanted to meet the needs of its employees and customers, but also the needs of many of the government agencies responding to the disasters.  For example, the rig includes a 48-inch plotter used for printing large wall-sized maps, allowing public agency responders to review large printouts of the impacted region.


Said Price, "Whatever we can do as a good corporate citizen to share our assets with others while we are working to repair our network will result in a win-win for our customers, the company and government agencies."


About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with the world's most connected IP network to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions. We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees - enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment.  Many of the world's largest businesses and governments - including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions - rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.


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