Bell Atlantic tracking Winter Storm, Network and Technicians Ready

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NEW YORK - Bell Atlantic and its vast telecommunications network are ready for the first major winter storm of the 1999-2000 season, which began dumping snow and ice along the East Coast late yesterday.

"We know that many of our customers depend on the Bell Atlantic network to get their work done and to stay in touch during a storm such as this - so we're ready," said Arnie Eckelman, Bell Atlantic president- consumer services. "We prepare our network and our systems for events such as these to make sure the Bell Atlantic link to homes and businesses keeps working when other networks might not.

"If some of our lines are damaged by the storm, we're ready to make repairs as quickly as possible."

Ed Sproat, Bell Atlantic's president and chief operating officer for Network Services, said all of the company's more than 2,600 call- switching centers have backup power ready in the event commercial power is cut off.

"Whether it's diesel generators or batteries - or both - our switching centers have the backup power to continue providing dial tone to customers if and when we lose electrical power," Sproat said. "We plan for these types of weather events."

Bell Atlantic has activated its storm-monitoring center and will continue tracking the storm as it moves north. In the event some areas are hit hard by the storm, the company is ready to move in extra technicians to speed repairs.

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