09.16.1999|Corporate

Bell Atlantic Hurricane Floyd Update: At Least 50 Call-Routing Centers on Backup Power; Company Ready to Move Technicians to Hard-Hit Areas

Bell Atlantic Hurricane Floyd Update: At Least 50 Call-Routing Centers on Backup Power; Company Ready to Move Technicians to Hard-Hit Areas

Overall Bell Atlantic Network Continues to Perform Well as Storm Moves up East Coast

September 16, 1999

Media contact: Mark Marchand, 518-396-1080
John Bonomo, 212-395-0500

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 these."

Bell Atlantic has already moved some employees from installation groups to repair teams. This may mean a delay in some routine, scheduled installations.

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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