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Verizon Working To Restore Technical Systems In NYC, Pentagon

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RALEIGH — The collapse of the World Trade Center Towers and surrounding buildings knocked out phone and data service to lower Manhattan. Massive restoration efforts are underway to get systems back on-line.

The New York Stock Exchange re-opened a week ago, seven days after the terrorist attack on New York. Verizon is the primary phone company for Manhattan.

"We've had to basically re-wire all of lower Manhattan, so we've had the outside efforts regarding cable restoration and the inside efforts regarding the restoration of the telecommunications switch," said Verizon spokesman Steve Toler.

World Trade Center Building Seven collapsed on the Verizon building, knocking out much of its service to the financial district. Water and falling debris heavily damaged the building where 1,600 people worked. Most of the data circuits have been restored and work continues on phone lines.

"One of our biggest successes was last Monday at the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange, which requires on a normal day, 15,000 data circuits. We had 14,000 data circuits up and working at the opening bell," Toler said.

The plane that crashed into the Pentagon also damaged telecommunications there. Those telecommunications are also maintained by Verizon.

"We were able to save and keep in service the telecommunications switch that serves the Pentagon. However, restoration efforts continue at the Pentagon as well," he said.

In lower Manhattan, Toler says it will take weeks to complete temporary repairs and months to re-build the phone system. Verizon is joined by other telecom companies such as MCI Worldcom and equipment makers in rebuilding damaged systems.


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