Verizon Works To Restore Phone Service To Lower Manhattan Buildings
Nearly two months after Hurricane Sandy, many office buildings in Lower Manhattan are still without telephone service, and Verizon says it's working day and night to replace infrastructure. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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A snip here, plugging in there, and a downtown office building has a dial tone back.
"There are two things that companies need ultimately, and that's power and that's telecommunications," said John Gilbert of Rudin Management.
For some buildings downtown, the latter may be the bigger challenge, as Hurricane Sandy destroyed 95 percent of Verizon's telephone network in Lower Manhattan.
"There is over 100 million square feet of commercial space south of Canal Street that Verizon is focused on in the restoral of service," said Chris Levendos of Verizon.
One-third of the approximately 200 buildings south of Canal Street are completely back, according to Levendos. But they have a long way to go.
"The scale of what we have to restore here has us building, delivering over 20 years' worth of equipment in a matter of weeks," Levendos said.
The company's initial response drew ire from Mayor Bloomberg.
"I pointed out that is just not acceptable," the mayor said on December 6.
On Friday, he saw it differently.
"They have made a lot of progress and moved up delivery dates dramatically," the mayor said.
A cable vault at the company's Broad Street control center was full of copper wires, transmitting thousands of telephone conversations for Verizon customers. Now, it's empty. All of those wires were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
New fiber optic cables are now strung overhead, up to the street, eventually into buildings like 80 Pine Street, where the water line may still be visible in the lobby, but the phone can start ringing.