News Release

Year-Round Network Preparation

November 29, 0002

Verizon Wireless prepares year-round for natural disasters and other emergencies so customers can rely on the company's network to keep them and their families, friends and employees connected — even when the unexpected strikes.

Verizon Wireless currently has more than 200 business continuity/disaster recovery plans in place, covering all of the company's critical business functions to help keep customers connected and operating during any kind of emergency. The Verizon Wireless business continuity team conducts emergency drills throughout the year to increase the company's response capabilities.

In addition, the Verizon Wireless network is built for reliability in emergencies, with battery back-up power at all facilities and for additional reliability, generators installed at all switching facilities, and many cell site locations. Year-round network enhancements include:

  • A $20 million enhancement to the company's Tampa Bay switching facility, which doubled its traffic capacity and back-up power redundancies. The facility is designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and will serve as the Florida region's emergency operations center in the event of a storm or other disaster.
  • New 35-foot $150,000 Disaster Response Trailers, which can be used as temporary customer service locations in areas impacted by a disaster.
  • Hundreds of new digital cell sites that have been erected during the past year, of which about 85 percent have their own on-site generators and new expanded fuel tanks to extend their power-generating capacity.
  • A fleet of dozens of Cells on Wheels (COWS) and Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS), and generators on trailers (GOaTS) that can be rolled into hard-hit locations or areas that need extra network capacity.
  • Pre-arranged fuel delivery to mobile units and generators to keep the network operating at full strength — even if power is lost for an extended period of time.
  • An expanded EV-DO Rev. A wireless broadband network, that allows the most advanced wireless services (downloads, location-based applications, video messaging, etc.) and makes the network more robust for usage by residents and emergency agencies.

Verizon Wireless' emergency response capabilities have been tested and proven during many difficult situations including the wildfires of 2007 and 2008, recent tornadoes in the Midwest and South, flooding in the Northwest, and the extraordinary hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. The Verizon Wireless network in Florida withstood the impact of eight hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 and delivered top performance compared with other communication networks that were more adversely affected.

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