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Verizon finalizes hurricane prep in Florida

By Staff | May 30, 2013

TAMPA With the onset of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season on June 1, Verizon Wireless has finalized annual storm season network preparations across Florida to ensure customers have access to the most reliable wireless services in the event of severe weather and other emergencies.

The special hurricane preparations reinforce ongoing network enhancements in Florida highlighted by the rapid expansion of the company’s most advanced 4G LTE services. Verizon launched 4G LTE in Florida in 2010 and expects to cover its entire state footprint by the end of 2013. Already, more than nine out of 10 Americans have access to the technology where they live or work.

The strength and speed of Verizon Wireless 4G LTE is a valuable benefit for customers and public safety officials needing to send or receive pictures, videos and other data; access the internet and other computer networks; and a variety of advanced applications. Using the 4G LTE network for high-speed data communication also frees up valuable wireless bandwidth for voice calls.

In addition to expanded 4G LTE, Verizon has installed new in-building network systems at many hospitals, government and emergency facilities, high-traffic public venues and other key locations since last year’s storm season.

The company also continues to install back-up generators with expanded fuel tanks at cell sites to maintain wireless communication to keep wireless communication up and running even in the event of a prolonged power outage.

Approximately 85 percent of all Verizon Wireless cell sites are equipped with their own back-up generators. In conjunction with the generators, Verizon has pre-arranged fuel delivery in case of a storm, and will have tankers poised and in position to quickly arrive at a hard-hit area.

In Florida, Verizon Wireless has five “super-switch” network processing centers in Pembroke Pines, Jupiter, Plant City, Orlando and Jacksonville – designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes and which would serve as Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) in case of emergency. These facilities feature hardened shells, large-scale on-site power generation and other back-up systems to ensure the company’s network remains strong, running and reliable.

The company also has fleets of Cells On Wheels (COWS), Cells On Light Trucks (COLTS), Cellular Repeaters On Wheels (CROWS) and Generators On A Trailer (GOATS) that can be rolled into hard-hit locations or areas that need extra 4G LTE and 3G network capacity.

Other storm season preparations include Verizon Wireless technicians traveling hundreds of thousands of miles in special vehicles to measure the quality of wireless coverage and services.

“Wireless communication is especially important during emergencies,” said Frank Wise, Florida network executive director. “We thoroughly prepare each year because Verizon Wireless takes its role in public safety very seriously.”

For more information visit www.verizonwireless.com.