We are making solid progress in restoring services to wireline and wireless customers affected by the June 29 storm that cut a swath from Virginia to New Jersey.
On Monday (July 2) the company resolved the remaining issues that affected calling to northern Virginia 911 centers in Fairfax and Prince William counties, and Manassas and Manassas Park. All centers are now fully operational as company officials continue to work with 911 center staff to ensure their needs are met. Verizon regrets the inconvenience to its customers.
The 911 system is designed so there is no single point of failure in the network to interrupt 911 service. Unfortunately, the severity of this particular storm damaged multiple Verizon facilities in the affected area, which led to the weekend’s 911 issues. Verizon will thoroughly examine these issues and take the necessary corrective action.
On the wireless front, over 99 percent of Verizon’s cell sites in the D.C., northern Virginia and Baltimore areas are currently up and running. So, nearly all customers have wireless service. A few isolated cell sites are down across the region, but service will be restored as soon as possible. The vast majority of Verizon Wireless customers were able to make calls, send text messages and surf the Internet before, during and after the storm. To help residents in the hardest hit areas, Verizon is sending a mobile shelter today to offer assistance to those without power in the Virginia community of Max Meadows. The air conditioned tent, with room for 12 people, includes satellite phone service, laptops with Internet access and charging stations for wireless devices. In addition, a 53-foot mobile command center trailer truck is on the way to Alexandria. The mobile command center vehicle, which offers similar services as the mobile shelters, also was deployed in Virginia and several other locations along the East Coast to help citizens and local governments during Hurricane Irene last summer.
The widespread loss of commercial power has affected several hundred Verizon wireline facilities in the District, Virginia and Maryland, many of which continue to function on backup power. This backup power, which is engineered in the Verizon network, provides uninterrupted service in critical facilities such as switching offices and data centers.
Understanding the frustration customers face with no phone, Internet or TV service, Verizon has marshaled its forces and the commitment of its employees to restore service as quickly as possible for customers. As a result of the storm, Verizon’s wireline repair load is running three to four times its normal levels. Many customers’ voice, Internet and TV services are coming back as commercial power is restored. And, Verizon crews are fanned out across the region to replace poles, re-hang downed lines and repair customers’ services. Currently, field forces are responding to 130 downed utility poles and 762 downed copper or fiber cables in the region.
The Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County areas of northern Virginia were particularly hard-hit. Verizon technicians are working extended shifts and, in some cases, round-the-clock as they restore critical services such as hospitals. Verizon expects the elevated repair load to continue for several more days before decreasing to normal levels by early next week.
Customers who have a Verizon service issue should call 800-VERIZON (800-837-4966) or visit www.verizon.com/support.
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