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SOUTHERN BELL SENDS PORTABLE SWITCHING OFFICE TO SOUTH FLORIDA

 SOUTHERN BELL SENDS PORTABLE SWITCHING OFFICE TO SOUTH FLORIDA
 ATLANTA, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A one-of-a-kind "switching office on wheels" is on its way from Atlanta to provide temporary telephone service if needed in hurricane-ravaged South Florida.
 The portable switching office, which is the only one of its kind anywhere in the country, was specially designed by BellSouth to provide emergency telephone service for Southern Bell and South Central Bell in case of a major disaster.
 "Our network has held up remarkably well during this crisis, and we haven't lost any of our major central offices," said Joe Lacher, president of Southern Bell operations in Florida. "However, in some areas there aren't many buildings left standing. The portable switching office may be able to help us provide temporary service to some customers, and we wanted it on hand in case we need it."
 The four trailers, containing a central office switch, power trailer and transmission systems, can travel within hours to any southeastern city the company serves where telephone facilities are damaged or destroyed by tornadoes, hurricanes or fire.
 Once on-site, the unit can provide state-of-the-art telecommunications service for up to 10,000 telephone lines. BellSouth conceived the idea after a central office fire destroyed a switching office in Hinsdale, Ill.
 "It's unlikely that a central switching office would be completely knocked out," said Lacher. "The performance of our network during Hurricane Andrew certainly demonstrates that. But the impact of such an occurrence is so serious that we feel we always have to be prepared should the unthinkable happen."
 The stark white portable trailers, which are kept fully operational at a suburban Atlanta location, is designed to carry almost all the equipment and supplies a crew would need to restore telephone service. A trained crew of employees is on call at all times, ready to respond to any emergency, and is in route with the trailers.
 -0- 8/28/92
 /CONTACT: David Rogers of BellSouth Telecommunications, 404-529-8053, or Spero Canton of Southern Bell, 305-530-5455/
 (BLS) CO: BellSouth Telecommunications ST: Florida IN: TLS SU:


BN-BR -- AT014 -- 4511 08/28/92 15:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 28, 1992
Words:351
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