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TMCNet:  Verizon Post-Sandy Service Restoral Efforts Continue

[November 08, 2012]

Verizon Post-Sandy Service Restoral Efforts Continue

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Verizon is bringing in more than 1,200 additional wireline employees from other parts of its service area to help reconnect consumers, businesses and government clients in New Jersey and the New York City metropolitan area, which were severely affected by Hurricane Sandy.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121108/NY09469-a) (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121108/NY09469-b) Restoration and Redeployment: Verizon continues to redeploy technicians and equipment to New Jersey and the New York City area to hasten restoral as commercial power is restored and Verizon crews can access Sandy-damaged facilities for the first time. Verizon is augmenting its repair force in these two areas, drawing crews from Maryland, Massachusetts, upstate New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The company has extended call-center hours and employee work shifts to better meet customers' service needs.

Verizon employees continue to restore voice, data, Internet and TV service to customers, and crews are assessing any new damage to outside facilities, such as poles and cables, from Winter Storm Athena.

Verizon continues to coordinate with commercial power companies and local authorities to resolve restoral challenges caused by downed power lines, trees and other debris; and heavy snow in some areas of the region affected by the two storms.

Even as power is restored to key facilities and customers' homes or businesses, Verizon may need to repair or replace damaged equipment - such as flooded electronics in switching offices, and broken poles and downed lines in neighborhoods - to bring back service for customers.

Verizon provides an emergency backup battery to its FiOS customers at installation in the event they lose commercial power. This battery backup unit (BBU) provides up to eight hours of standby voice service, depending on usage. For example, receiving calls uses power to ring the phones and would reduce the available backup power time. The BBU will shut down approximately one hour before the battery is fully depleted. At that point, a customer can press the "battery emergency use" button located on the BBU and obtain up to an hour of battery life in the event the customer needs to make an emergency call.

(NOTE: To view or embed videos of Verizon's restoral and community outreach efforts after Sandy, visit http://vz.to/sandyvideos.) Customer Repairs, Replacements and Care: Customers may suspend their Verizon landline services free of charge if they're currently unable to live in their home or operate their small business as a result of Sandy.

Verizon will provide credits for landline customers who have reported an out-of-service condition related to Hurricane Sandy. Verizon Wireless is offering a Voice and Text program for customers in counties of New York and New Jersey impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Domestic voice and text usage will be automatically removed from accounts for activity between Oct. 29 and Nov. 16. Included counties can be found at: http://news.verizonwireless.com/news/2012/11/pr2012-11-04a.html.

Verizon technical support will help customers determine if their equipment such as set-top boxes or home broadband routers is operable or needs replacement. Troubleshooting tips are also available for customers at www.verizon.com/outage.

The company will repair or replace any consumer or small business Verizon equipment damaged by Sandy, without charge. This includes FiOS set-top boxes, FiOS broadband routers, optical network terminals and High Speed Internet (DSL) broadband routers.

Supporting Emergency Responders, Communities: Many Verizon FiOS and Verizon Wireless stores in the region are open to people without power who need to charge their wireless devices. To find a nearby store, click here. People should bring their own device chargers and call a store first to ensure it's open.

Verizon currently is assessing where to redeploy several units in its emergency fleet of vehicles and self-contained emergency inflatable-air shelters that it moved to a safe zone Wednesday (Nov. 7) in advance of Athena. These units assist local government, public-safety and emergency management agencies, providing them with communications, Internet and video capabilities in particularly hard-hit areas where such services may not currently be available.

To support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, Verizon Wireless customers and the Verizon Foundation have pledged more than $3.7 million to the American Red Cross and other organizations aiding in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Customers can still make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999, and those who would like to give more can donate up to $50 via text. In addition, Verizon employees have donated nearly $500,000 to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to date through the Verizon Foundation's matching gifts program; the foundation will match those donations two-for-one. For more on the Verizon Foundation's Sandy support, click here.

Customers can contact Verizon online at www.verizon.com/outage to report any wireline service-related issues; or call 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966). Please note that hold times will be longer than normal due to higher calling volumes. For prior Hurricane Sandy updates, click here.

For more information on Verizon Wireless efforts related to Hurricane Sandy, visit the Emergency Information Center.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions updates are available at www.verizonbusiness.com/info/hurricane.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 96 million retail customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 184,500. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts, high-quality video and images, and other information are available at Verizon's News Center on the World Wide Web at www.verizon.com/news. To receive news releases by email, visit the News Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.

SOURCE Verizon

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