Verizon Keeps Western Fire Island Residents, Businesses Connected as the Summer Vacation Season Ramps Up
NEW YORK – As Fire Island residents and businesses gear up for the busy summer vacation season, more customers continue to sign up for Verizon’s innovative service, Voice Link, to stay in touch with loved ones and keep their businesses running in areas of the island where Hurricane Sandy decimated the company’s decades-old and historically troublesome copper landline network.
An efficient and effective solution to restore telephone service, Verizon’s Voice Link uses wireless technology, rather than copper lines, to deliver voice service to customers. It works seamlessly with customers’ current telephones and wall jacks, and provides unlimited local and domestic long-distance calling, enhanced 911 service, and popular calling features such as Caller ID with Name and Call Waiting. Customers pay the same or a lower price compared with what they currently pay.
“Verizon is committed to using the best technology to provide our customers with the best possible voice service, and Voice Link takes advantage of wireless technology to deliver on that commitment for our customers on Fire Island,” said Tom Maguire, Verizon’s senior vice president of national operations support. “We found that most of the voice traffic on the island originated on wireless networks, so taking that into consideration along with the vulnerability of copper networks in storms, Voice Link has been a perfect option for quickly getting customers back in service and delivering improved service quality for residents and businesses.”
A trained technician installs the service at the customer’s location. A four-by-four-inch device, about the size of a small Internet modem or router, plugs into a standard electrical outlet and then into a telephone jack, which in turn powers all the other telephone jacks in the house or business. The current version of the device includes a built-in rechargeable battery backup that provides two hours of talk time and 36 hours of standby power during commercial power outages. Future versions will use standard AA batteries.
More than 320 residential and business customers are using Voice Link on Fire Island, allowing them to make and receive calls just as they would with the traditional, copper-based telephone service, and multiline service will be available for businesses. Combined with wireless solutions available from Verizon Wireless, like the CradlePoint MBR1400 and Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspots, Fire Island consumers have a full array of options to meet their communications needs.
Customers who have used Voice Link have responded positively to the new option. Verizon started to install the Voice Link service for customers on Fire Island earlier this year, specifically targeting customers on the western portion of the island where a significant percentage of Verizon’s copper network was damaged beyond repair. Verizon is using the Verizon Wireless network on a wholesale basis to provide Voice Link service, so customers will remain Verizon customers, rather than Verizon Wireless customers.
“This service helps Verizon adapt to a changing marketplace,” said Maguire. “More importantly, it reconnects our customers by using a proven, reliable wireless technology that tens of millions of us use to communicate every day.”