BUFFALO, NY — Verizon Wireless reports its Buffalo-area network performed at a high level throughout last week's record snowstorm, handling a 50% higher-than-normal volume of calls despite the loss of commercial electric power to a number of sites. The company credits its built-in network redundancy and the presence of on-site generators and backup batteries at each of its cell sites for helping keep the lines of communication open for customers, first responders, and snow and debris removal personnel.
"Installing generators and backup batteries at all of our cell sites a few years ago paid big dividends last week when commercial power was wiped out," said Gene Fassett, executive director of Network for Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "Planning ahead allowed us to respond quickly when the power went out and keep our Buffalo-area network on the air throughout the storm and the ensuing clean-up process."
Of the more than 130 cell sites the company operates in the five-county area affected by the storm, 66 were operating on backup power at the height of the storm. Network technicians were able to remotely monitor generator fuel levels and top them off when necessary to ensure they stayed online. Only 13 sites experienced sporadic outages during the storm.
"The members of our Buffalo-area Network team did a remarkable job working day and night since early Friday morning to monitor our network performance and keep our sites up and running, while having to deal with the storm and its aftermath in their own homes," said Fassett.
Network personnel continue to monitor the network and the few remaining sites still on generator power.
The company is also providing loaner phones to the City of Buffalo, the American Red Cross, the Town of Tonawanda, and other entities to aid in the storm recovery efforts.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 54.8 million voice and data customers. The company is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J. Find more information on the Web at 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.