Verizon still working to restore services after Hurricane Sandy

News Stacy Warden 12:01, Nov 19 2012

The aftermath of Sandy destroyed much of Verizon's copper wiring. Here's how the wireless carrier plans to fix it

Verizon Wireless announced Friday that it had already restored a large number of its services since its Lower Manhattan facilities were flooded by Hurricane Sandy. And while it's been making repairs at record speeds, the company's work is far from over.

Dante D'Orazio over at The Verge got an inside look at the aftermath of Sandy, and just how severely it damaged Verizon's copper wiring. The impact was so great that rather than attempting to repair or replace the copper, the wireless provider is now reworking its downtown facilities with fiber optics instead. 

From the the report:

"Miles of copper is ruined not only in the cable vault at Broad Street, but also at 20 or so manholes around the area. Even worse, paper insulation in the copper wiring sucks water through the cabling from capillary action, destroying cabling even in dry areas. Levendos says it’s "far too tedious, time consuming, and not effective of a process to try and put this infrastructure back together," so Verizon’s taking the opportunity to rewire with fiber optics instead. Service has been restored to FiOS customers for over a week — unlike copper, fiber optics aren’t damaged by the water."

Sounds good, for sure. But there's still a huge downside here, and it has everything to do with time. According to the report, thousands are currently without service in Lower Manhattan, and the fiber optics fix is hardly a quick one. Getting the fiber connected to each building is really just the first step. After that, workers have to bring service to each unit separately. 

Verizon will continue releasing updates on its restored services directly on its site.  

[The Verge]

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