Verizon completes fiber-optic cabling installation in Hurricane Sandy restoration push

Dec. 21, 2012
Roughly seven weeks after Hurricane Sandy, Verizon has reportedly completed the installation of fiber-optic cables between the company's two critical central switching offices in lower Manhattan.

Roughly seven weeks after Hurricane Sandy, Verizon has reportedly completed the installation of fiber-optic cables between the company's two critical central switching offices in lower Manhattan and buildings put out of service by the storm surge. The completion of the fiber installation phase of the project is part of Verizon’s plan to modernize communications capabilities for customers as it restores services to the businesses and office buildings in lower Manhattan that were affected by the hurricane.

Once Verizon completes the project, the area will have among the nation's most advanced communications infrastructure, providing customers with the highest level of service and reliability, the company claims. Further, the modernization project will make lower Manhattan "future-proof," enabling Verizon to easily update the communications infrastructure with new capabilities.

While Verizon has been installing the fiber-optic network, it is also working with landlords as they ready their properties for the return of tenants. The reconstruction of telecom rooms – frequently relocated to upper floors – power, and access to those rooms are important steps in the process. As building owners and managers complete these steps, Verizon says it is rapidly connecting the newly laid fiber to the new electronic systems and turning up service.

See also:Data centers vs. Hurricane Sandy

The steps these building owners are taking, in conjunction with the new fiber infrastructure from Verizon, will provide additional protection for the communications infrastructure in lower Manhattan in the event of future large-scale weather events. Verizon estimates that more than 70 percent of the affected buildings served by its Broad Street switching office, where copper services were most significantly damaged, now have fiber-optic cables and facilities serving them, with many buildings downtown already receiving full service.

Copper cables were destroyed that served businesses and residences in the area south of Worth Street, from the East River to the Hudson River. These cables were rendered inoperable as the result of the unprecedented flooding, the mixture of salt water and diesel fuel in some buildings 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.

Verizon estimates that it has already installed more than 5,000 miles of fiber in the dense lower Manhattan area, and more than 100 tons of copper cables have been removed from the area – 30 percent more than all the copper in the Statue of Liberty. More is being removed each day. The copper is being collected and recycled in an environmentally sensitive way, Verizon says.

"We are doing years' worth of work in just a few weeks, and doing it round the clock," said Martin Burvill, senior vice president of global operations for Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

See also: appeals for donations to Red Cross Hurricane Sandy relief effort

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