BASKING RIDGE, NJ — With predictions today of a 70 percent chance of four to seven hurricanes during the ’09 Atlantic hurricane season, Verizon Wireless has a message for customers: The company is ready and determined to deliver reliable wireless coverage and service in the event of severe storms. In the past 12 months in eight states where hurricanes have had their most devastating effects, the company invested more than $1 billion to enhance, expand and ensure its wireless network is the nation’s most reliable.
To strengthen and enhance its wireless network and ensure customers have comprehensive, reliable wireless coverage in case of severe weather, Verizon Wireless invested the following in the states in and around “Hurricane Alley” since the start of last year’s hurricane season:
- Nearly $190 million in Florida
- Nearly $59 million in Louisiana
- More than $338 million in Texas
- More than $125 million in Georgia
- More than $205 million in North and South Carolina
- Nearly $33 million in Mississippi
- More than $70 million in Alabama
Network preparations have included:
- Expanding capacity in the company’s regional switching facilities
- Constructing new digital cell sites with on-site back-up power
- Creating comprehensive emergency response plans, including preparing emergency command centers in the case of a storm or other crisis
- Annually enhancing readiness plans for Wireless Emergency Communication Centers (WECCs) in local communities
- Updating and optimizing technology at regional network switching facilities
- Deploying teams of “Test Men” in high-tech vehicles to ensure the company’s all-digital network is ready
Year-Round Network Enhancements Mean Customers Can Rely on the NetworkVerizon Wireless prepares year-round for natural disasters and other emergencies. The company’s ongoing intensive investments and preparations proved critical during and after past years’ extraordinary storms when Verizon Wireless’ network remained strong while many other wireless communication networks struggled. As a result, emergency response officials and residents were able to make calls, send text messages and harness the company’s high-speed wireless data services on the Verizon Wireless network to communicate with emergency officials, support services, businesses, family, friends and co-workers.
(Editors Note: Information about Verizon Wireless’ preparations for the 2009 hurricane season, including network information, consumer tips and Verizon Wireless spokesperson information can be found online in the Verizon Wireless Emergency Information Center at http://www.verizonwireless.com/news.html.
Video footage and images of Verizon Wireless’ network preparations in hurricane-prone areas is available in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.)
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 86.6 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 86,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
In Florida:Chuck HambyChuck.Hamby@verizonwireless.com 813-615-4803
In Louisiana/Houston/Gulf Coast: Gretchen LeJeuneGretchen.LeJeune@verizonwireless.com 713-219-8028
In Central Texas: Audrey LundyAudrey.Lundy@verizonwireless.com 972-444-5516
In North Carolina/South Carolina/Tennessee: Karen SchulzKaren.Schulz@verizonwireless.com 864-987-2006
In Georgia: Caran SmithCaran.Smith@verizonwireless.com 678-339-4891
All Other Calls: Tom PicaThomas.Pica@verizonwireless.com 908-559-7516