Verizon Works to Get Phone, Data Service Back to Normal in Buffalo Area

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Verizon today continued its service restoration efforts in the Buffalo area in the wake of the early season snowstorm that hit the region last weekend.

As part of the plan to restore service as quickly as possible, Verizon has brought in approximately 200 technicians from other parts of New York to assist the local teams in repairs and other tasks, such as pole replacements, installing new drop wires and splicing new cable.

In addition, and as is Verizon standard practice in natural emergencies such as the snowstorm, the company moved technical forces from other construction and planned projects and assigned them to the more critical tasks of repairs for homes and businesses.

As of Wednesday, all of Verizon's 80 central offices that serve the affected areas were back on commercial power.  Following the storm, 30 of the company's central offices had been on battery or generator backup power.  All Verizon central offices - which perform the essential functions of supplying dial tone and routing calls and data transmissions for customers - are equipped with backup batteries and generators that kick in automatically if the electrical power supply is interrupted.  In addition, Verizon uses portable generators in locations where commercial power is interrupted for an extended period of time.

"All of our forces are focused on getting service fully restored to as many of our customers as soon as possible," said Joseph DeMauro, regional vice president for Verizon operations.  "Our employees are engaged in identifying critical areas or neighborhoods and prioritizing them, placing new poles and cables, if necessary, and communicating with customers when the job is done.  Our command center is coordinating all restoration efforts and monitoring all the necessary data to ensure that our restoration plan is executed."

DeMauro noted that the company is conducting engineering surveys of neighborhoods to identify downed drop wires and cables, and it is working with local agencies and the power company to identify safe work areas as well as those needing telecom service.

Verizon's telecom group has also coordinated with Verizon Wireless to donate cell phones to the city of Buffalo for use by volunteers and at warming centers, and by the town of Tonawanda and the Erie County Emergency Operations Center.

As always, Verizon reminds customers to contact the company and report any remaining service issues.  Residential customers can call 716-890-6611, and small-business customers can call 716-890-7711.

In addition, customers who are still without power should try to use corded phones.  Verizon's network is self-powered, so service stays on even during a power failure, provided the phone line itself is not down.  Cordless phones won't work when the lights are out and neither will Internet calling services, because the hardware requires power at the customer's premises.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 55 million customers nationwide.  Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks.  Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 252,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.