Verizon Business Extends Availability of Disaster Recovery Services for Government Agencies

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - A wider range of government customers will be able to better prepare for unforeseen events by using Verizon Business disaster recovery capabilities, the company announced Wednesday (Feb. 14). Verizon Business' Voice Continuity service is now available to federal customers under the U.S. General Services Administration's Washington Interagency Telecommunications System (WITS) 2001 contract for federal agencies within the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

The services have been available since 2005 to other federal government users to purchase from the GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service (FTS) 2001 contract.  The services are also available to state government customers.

Verizon Business' Voice Continuity services, offered in conjunction with TeleContinuity Inc., help federal and state government agencies meet continuity of operations planning (COOP) requirements. In the event of an equipment failure, natural disaster or building evacuation, the Verizon Business Voice Continuity option provides the capability to reroute calls to maintain telephone service to virtually any location and device, including wired or wireless phones, desktop or mobile computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

"The best-laid business plans include those that prepare for the unimagined, including acts of Mother Nature, acts of terrorism or sheer accidents," said Susan Zeleniak, vice president for Verizon Federal.  "Verizon Business has earned its position as one of the top communications providers to the federal government by working closely with government agencies to plan effective strategies that can help keep their operations running smoothly."

In the event of a communications disruption, Voice Continuity offers a seamless, cost-effective, network-level solution that allows subscribers to reroute calls within minutes.

In addition, Verizon Business works closely with government agencies to understand their networking and IT infrastructure needs. Verizon Business identifies potential risks and exposures, including router or hardware failures, cable cuts, power and network outages, natural disasters and acts of terrorism; provides an analysis of costs and benefits of potential mitigation measures; and tests the solution. The goal is to reduce the duration of any outage by carrying out a prepared response.

Verizon Business' Voice Continuity technology links the reach and reliability of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) with the flexibility, survivability and reach of the Internet to create a unique and seamless system for voice disaster recovery.

With Voice Continuity, elaborate, labor-intensive pre-planning for interruption of telecommunication services is no longer necessary.  Users simply activate Voice Continuity service when they anticipate or are experiencing an outage. Upon activation, users have the flexibility and control to choose the device and location where calls will be rerouted.  Rerouting occurs within minutes of system activation.

Voice Continuity provides a comprehensive suite of administrative controls and the ability to view Voice Continuity network operations center screens through a secure Internet connection, even on a laptop at a remote location. Managers have the ability to rapidly forward individual lines, groups of lines or the entire agency or unit through point-and-click administrative screens.

Telecontinuity Inc. has been recognized for its technological achievements, including receiving Frost & Sullivan's 2007 North America Technology Innovation of the Year Award in the field of Telecom Services and the U.S. Commerce Department, National Institute of Standards & Technology - Advanced Technology Program (NIST-ATP) Award.

Verizon Business' Voice Continuity is part of a suite of disaster recovery solutions including Private IP Services, the Emergency Mobile Communications Command Center fleet and the Verizon Business hazardous materials response team, known as the MERIT Team.

Verizon's fleet of emergency communications vehicles, which is based in the Dallas area, can arrive at any continental United States location within 24 hours. The vehicles are equipped with satellite uplinks to provide Internet, telephone, wireless hotspot and fax capabilities to the public when other communications are unavailable. The fleet provided communications in the aftermath of disasters including the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, California wildfires, tornadoes in the Midwest and numerous storms including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Verizon Business' MERIT team, the telecommunication industry's first hazardous materials response team, is prepared to respond and perform communications functions ranging from splicing fiber to restoring a digital switch in a hazardous environment.

The MERIT team was instrumental in reestablishing communications at Ground Zero after the September 11 attacks and has responded to HAZMAT train derailments and Anthrax contaminations, using self-contained and specialized equipment.

Verizon Federal is the organization within Verizon Business dedicated to serving federal government customers. Verizon Business is one of the largest providers of advanced data, Internet and voice communications services in the United States and around the world, offering local-to-global-to-local network capabilities coupled with a broad range of telecommunications products and services, including managed network services and systems integration, to all levels of government. Verizon Business provides federal agencies one-stop shopping for their communications or connectivity needs. The company has built the next-generation services that are helping to transform the way government customers -- and their constituents -- do business. 

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large business and government customers worldwide.  Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced technology and professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.