TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Phone Repairs Continue in Flooded New Hampshire

Phone Repairs Continue in Flooded New Hampshire

New York Times News Wire (
Sat, 21 Apr 2007 19:51:21 -0500

RAYMOND, N.H. -- As crews work to repair flooded telephone equipment,
Verizon employees went door-to-door Saturday offering free cell phones
to customers with no service and competitor Comcast continued running
temporary calling centers in several towns.

Spokesman Erle Pierce says about 80 Verizon employees were knocking on
doors and offering free, temporary cell phone service to customers in
the 8-9-5 exchange who didn't already have cell service or service
from a competitor.

"For those who don't have any communications, such as service from
another provider or a cell phone, we are going to make sure they have
a cell phone," Pierce said.

He said the company also gave town officials supply of cell phones to
hand out.

Meanwhile, Comcast has set up temporary service in town halls, police
and fire departments and schools in the affected towns, which include
Raymond, Candia, Epping, Nottingham, Fremont and Auburn. The company
also has set up public calling centers at the Epping Library, Candia
Police Department, Raymond Town Center and Auburn Safety Center.

Comcast employees also have been going door-to-door in the affected
towns, signing up customers.

Flooding knocked out Verizon's central switching station in Raymond
and normal service probably won't be restored until at least the end
of next week.

The outage has been a blow to businesses, who lost phones, faxes and
credit-card processing machines.

In Candia, automobile recycler Jeff Kantor, believes he lost tens of
thousands of dollars in business at Car World.

"I just got off the phone with a radio station, and I'm doing
everything I can just to let my people know we're still here," he told
the New Hampshire Union Leader on Friday. "On a day like today, we'd
normally do about $6,000 or $7,000, but we're at about $840."

At ATS Equipment, General Manager Mark Cooper said he couldn't
understand why people hit by the floods and power outages weren't
calling for his sump pumps or generators.

"A little while later, we realized the phones were out. There's really
nothing you can do about Mother Nature. We've got one incoming-only
line now, and what we're doing is asking people to call us back on
cell phones," he said.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

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