Saturday, October 27, 2012
Telecommunications company has spent months making improvements in hopes of avoiding another 911 system failure.
An estimated 2.3 million people lost access to 911 service this summer when the area was hit by a derecho. Now, with Hurricane Sandy lined up to potentially slam Northern Virginia, Verizon — the company that provides the emergency communication service — is confident that the long list of improvements it has made in the months since are enough to weather the storm. "We're ready for Sandy," Verizon spokesman Harry J. Mitchell told Patch in an interview Friday evening. In late September Verizon released an 11-page Moving Forward presentation (see the PDF attached at the right) outlining the issues with its power system and internal and external communication that contributed to the 911 system failure — and the steps that have been or will be…
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
When the iPhone5 was announced earlier this month, people responded with over 2 million orders in the first 24 hours.
Are you getting the new iPhone? If so, you'll have lots of company. Apple announced that the pre-orders for the iPhone5, the newest version of the most popular smartphone, were double the number of the previous record-holder, the iPhone4S. Pre-orders from Apple.com now have a wait time of 2-3 weeks. So what's new? It's thinner (.3 inches), taller (4.87 inches) and lighter (3.95 oz) than the 4S and increases the display size from 3.5 inches diagonally to 4 inches. This allows for an extra row of App icons and of course, larger viewing surface for photos and videos. It has an extra microphone, improved noise-cancelling and wide-audio sound. The camera is upgraded and includes panorama capability. The glass back has been replaced with metal …
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
A third of the more than 1,000 landline and Internet customers had service restored Monday.
A third of the affected Verizon landline and Internet customers had their services restored Monday days after a construction company severed three underground communication cables. Henry Mitchell, a Verizon spokesman, said crews are continuing to work around the clock to restore service to the more than 1,000 affected customers. Crews are working in the intersection of Gallows Road and Lee Highway. Fairfax County officials are urging people to avoid the intersection if they can while crews continue to work. “This restoral effort has been complicated by severe damage not only to the large copper cables, but also the underground ducts that carry the cables,” Mitchell said in a written statement. “Verizon has had to dig up the damaged area, …
Monday, August 27, 2012
Communications company explains 911 outage, among others, at town hall last Thursday.
Generator problems are to blame for Verizon's response to the June 29 derecho storm, according to a presentation from a company representative Thursday during a town hall meeting hosted by Del. Kaye Kory’s (D-38th) in Falls Church. Doug Sullivan, of Verizon, said the derecho storm “downed more poles and generated more commercial trouble tickets for Verizon than Hurricane Irene” and blamed the loss of service, particularly to the 911 network, on “multiple failures cascading from the generator problems”. [Dominion Virginia Power also gave a presentation at the Town Hall. Read about its presentation here.] Due to the power outage Verizon did not have enough information to create a plan to fix the damage and restore power to its customers. “It…
Friday, August 24, 2012
Repairs could take days to complete.
An overnight construction mishap has left more than 1,000 Verizon landline customers in the Merrifield area without service today. Harry Mitchell, a spokesman for Verizon, said contractors doing construction work near the intersection of Lee Highway and Gallows Road damaged three Verizon communications cables and the underground ducts they were in. Mitchell said there is no timeline for when landline and Internet customers will have their services restored. He said the process could take days to repair completely. FiOS service, Mitchell said, was not affected. Customers whose service is affected may reach Verizon at 800-VERIZON (800-837-4966) or www.verizon.com/support for updates.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Moran, Connolly, Wolf want the FCC to reconsider a regulation concerning backup power that the commission proposed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Northern Virginia's three congressmen called on the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday to take action that will prevent future outages to the region's 911 systems. In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, U.S. Reps. Jim Moran, Gerry Connolly and Frank Wolf asked that the commission dust off a post-Hurricane Katrina regulation that would have required all telecommunications companies to provide at least eight hours of backup power for all cell phone towers. The regulation was subsequently struck down on a technicality related to how the commission handled public comments, according to a news release. “In the event of an emergency situation, whether it be a natural disaster or man-made threat, the public needs confidence …
Monday, July 9, 2012
Post-Derecho the telecommunications company is continuing to restore service to all customers in Northern Virginia.
A possible tornado in Fredericksburg, a derecho and other severe weather have thrown service out of commission for many Verizon customers. Since June 29, Verizon has been experiencing service outages due to the freak weather occurances and has been assessing and repairing damage. "After Verizon technicians worked extended shifts throughout the weekend, the company’s service levels are nearly back to normal in most of the Washington metropolitan area," said a prepared statement from the company. "Company technicians now are focusing on service restoral for several hundred customers in areas technicians could not previously reach due to downed power lines." The possible tornado in Fredericksburg downed approximately 20 power poles. "As of …