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SOUTHERN BELL KEEPS CUSTOMERS IN TOUCH

 ATLANTA, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- While a major blizzard blanketed most of north Georgia last weekend, more than 99.5 percent of Southern Bell's customers were able to call relatives to let them know if they were okay, and in turn, they could receive calls from friends and loved ones all over the world.
 Through telephone calls, customers could also continue business, notify agencies concerning damages and outages, call 911 and other emergency facilities, and contact their local media to report status of the storm damage.
 In all, 3,086,000 of Southern Bell's 3.1 million lines in Georgia remained in service. The advanced telecommunications network, paired with the expertise of thousands of dedicated employees, kept telephone service outages to a minimum.
 During the storm weekend, Southern Bell processed 225 percent, or more than twice as many calls, through its central offices in Georgia as are normally processed on a weekend.
 "The Rome central office processes about 645,000 calls per day on average. During this storm, the Rome office processed about 1.7 million calls per day, with 2.4 million calls on Saturday alone," said Carl Swearingen, president-Georgia operations.
 "The Floyd County 911 emergency system received 642 calls the day before the blizzard and 5,226 calls the day the storm hit.
 "Our huge investment in Georgia over the past few years to put the majority of our lines underground, install electronic offices and place into use thousands of miles of fiber optic cable has paid off," commented Swearingen.
 Southern Bell's powerful network includes a "self-healing" capability. If one element breaks down, another automatically takes over to process the calls. Or if one central office experiences a telephone call "traffic jam," calls are automatically re-routed to a less busy central office. This whole process happens as fast as the blink of an eye and is transparent to the customer.
 Adding to the robustness and resiliency of this network are Southern Bell's operation centers, providing 24-hour surveillance and control of all critical network elements. These centers continually monitor the network, identifying possible problems and taking care of them before they cause outages.
 "The last time our state experienced a blizzard like this, Georgians depended mostly on roads and rails to make the connections necessary for economic progress," said Swearingen. "Today, our customers rely on Southern Bell's network to link people and places, ideas and information, even through Georgia's worst winter storm. These are the connections necessary for economic progress in Georgia today."
 -0- 3/19/93
 /CONTACT: Lynn Bress of Southern Bell, 404-391-2484/


CO: Southern Bell ST: Georgia IN: TLS SU:

BN-BR -- AT005 -- 7844 03/19/93 11:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 19, 1993
Words:441
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