Fiber-Optic Transformation of Lower Manhattan in Sight

  • Verizon
NEW YORK – With a fiber-optic backbone network already installed in lower Manhattan after Superstorm Sandy, Verizon has restored voice and high-speed data services in more than 90 percent of the office and commercial space where power, construction and other infrastructure repairs have been completed. In conjunction with building management companies, Verizon continues to bring advanced fiber into their buildings to serve residential and business tenants.

The company presented its comprehensive companywide Sandy response at a panel discussion hosted by the Federal Communications Commission, at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House in lower Manhattan.

“Block-by-block, building-by-building, we are completely transforming the infrastructure of this vibrant and key part of New York City,” said Martin Burvill, senior vice president of global operations for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “This dramatic a transformation effort in just three short months is unprecedented, and we have done an incredible amount of work in a very short amount of time to get our customers up and running as soon as possible. There is much more work to do, but when we are done our customers in lower Manhattan will have one of the most advanced communications networks in the world.”

He also noted that the company, to report its progress, has kept in regular contact with New York City officials, community boards, the New York State Public Service Commission, various real estate and commerce agencies, and downtown residents.

Burvill noted that discussions are ongoing with realty companies to engineer paths to bring Verizon’s fiber services into their buildings and onto upper tenant floors. He said that as buildings focus on their own heat, power and other construction issues, the company is standing ready to install fiber cabling and associated electronics and switch gear to handle the new services.

Verizon’s work includes:

  • 150 tons of copper removed, more than all the copper in the Statue of Liberty.

  • 6,500 miles of fiber strands installed.

  • Crews continue to work round-the-clock.

Alternative Services Keep Consumers and Small Businesses Connected

During the restoration process, Verizon has provided alternate communications solutions, free of charge, to thousands of small businesses and residential customers in the area and elsewhere around the metro area to get them back in business and their communications flowing. These solutions include call-forwarding capabilities to approximately 7,000 lines of consumers and small businesses so that calls are automatically forwarded to a working landline or cellphone number. In addition, the company has provided to customers at no charge voice and data products through the Verizon Wireless network. The company has provided more than 3,700 Verizon Wireless Home Phone Connect (for voice service) and Verizon 4G LTE Jetpack Mobile Hotspot (for data services) devices.

The company is installing the fiber-optic infrastructure to replace its copper cables in the area south of Worth Street, from the East River to the Hudson River, which were destroyed during the storm by the flooding, the mixture of salt water and diesel fuel from compromised tanks that were in place to fuel generators, and the loss of air pressurization systems that help protect copper cables from water infiltration.


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