A week after Superstorm Sandy devastated the Northeast, and particularly the New Jersey-New York region where Verizon (NYSE: VZ) FiOS has deep roots that can still be ripped up by hurricane force winds and flooding, the service provider's technicians have made "strong progress in reconnecting service for customers," the company said in a news release issued today.
The biggest challenge in the region are the power outages "and heavy damage to company facilities," Verizon added.
The update comes even as a second powerful storm moves up the Atlantic Coast, with New Jersey predicted to be its ultimate destination.
Verizon also promised it would double its technician workforce in the hardest hit areas of New Jersey and New York "to hasten restoral in those hard-hit areas as commercial power is restored and Verizon crews can access damaged facilities for the first time," the news release stated. These efforts include restoring backup power to flooded facilities in lower Manhattan and Queens that provide phone, Internet and TV services.
Besides facilities-based service, Verizon is also facing a number of customers whose consumer premises equipment was damaged by encroaching salt water.
"Verizon technical support will help customers determine if their equipment such as set-top boxes or home broadband routers is operable or needs replacement," the carrier said. "Troubleshooting tips are also available for customers," Verizon added, noting that repairs and replacements will be accomplished "without charge" for customers.
Another big challenge to getting things up and running is getting power, and Verizon said it is working with "fuel suppliers and federal, state and local government officials to secure the fuel essential to keep generators and service vehicles running so Internet access and voice and data communications can continue to flow."
It's no small task, since Verizon said it is operating 15,000 vehicles in the storm-ravaged region and has 68 major facilities and hundreds of smaller sites, operating on back-up generators.
And, for those who see only lead in the cloud's lining, weather watchers are now predicting that a Nor'easter taking aim on the region Wednesday and Thursday this week could bring high winds, raging tides and the potential for more flooding to areas that have yet to recover from last week's storm.
- Verizon issued this news release
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