Winter storm stops East coast -- but not Bell Atlantic callers

Despite heavy weather and heavy calling, the calls Tuesday and Wednesday continue to go through

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As the snowbound all along the East Coast struggled back to normal on Wednesday, Bell Atlantic customers' phones continued to function for another day as though nothing unusual had happened. It has been the area's worst blizzard in decades, but the calls continued to go through without trouble.

As workers began to return to their offices, shops and plants on Wednesday, the number of calls built steadily through the day and peaked in mid-afternoon. For instance, in New Jersey hourly call volumes nearly doubled from morning to afternoon. Across the region between 8:00AM to 3:00PM Wednesday, Bell Atlantic handled 167.1 million calls.

On Tuesday, despite a third straight day when calling volumes at times peaked above normal levels, the Bell Atlantic network continued virtually flawless telephone performance. Across the company's six state region, almost 362 million calls were placed during the 24 hour period on Tuesday.

More than 97 percent of all calls are being completed on the first try through the storm and the days of clean up. There were no significant outages anywhere in the phone network either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Just one indication of Bell Atlantic's reliable performance during this week's blizzard came in New Jersey Monday.

As the snow continued to fall, New Jersey's rail system apparently had trouble with its internal communications system. Conductors were relying on Bell Atlantic pay phones to get updates on the rail system's operations.

Network facilities, business offices, operator service centers and other offices continued to provide quality service, even with their staffs thinned by difficult travel conditions. Employees on the job were still camping out at hotels and at their work locations, working extended shifts, and filling in wherever needed.

Many employees stranded at home were able to continue business as usual through telecommuting.

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