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SOUTHERN BELL TO REBUILD SOUTH DADE NETWORK FROM THE BOTTOM UP

 SOUTHERN BELL TO REBUILD SOUTH DADE NETWORK FROM THE BOTTOM UP
 MIAMI, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Bell announced today its plans to rebuild its entire telephone network in South Dade with underground facilities where feasible, deploying additional fiber optic cables and backup systems.
 "The reason our telephone system was so resilient during the storm is because of its design," said Joe Lacher, Southern Bell president- Florida. "Underground fiber optic lines, with redundancies built in, provided service to more than 98 percent of our customers during the peak of the hurricane. We will continue to evaluate what worked and use it to make our network even better," Lacher said.
 Many customers still have service in the South Dade area, even though their homes were destroyed by the storm. For those who lost service as a result of the storm or those whose service was interrupted due to restoration work, service will be restored as soon as possible.
 "When areas are safe for our crews to work and people are ready to move back into their homes, Southern Bell will provide service to their residence," Lacher said. "We are committed to apply what we have learned during Hurricane Andrew and to redesign our infrastructure. The redesigned system will be more efficient and more reliable during adverse weather conditions. Our goal is to move toward a telephone network that provides 100 percent service at all times. It's what our customers expect, and it's what they should receive."
 Designing and installing the new infrastructure should take from 18 months to two years. Presently, engineers are surveying and sweeping the area south of 88th Street to assess the damage and begin planning for the new system. The storm damaged or destroyed 75 remote terminal facilities and toppled more than 537 telephone poles. In these cases, facilities need to be totally rebuilt. But due to the durability of the Homestead and Naranja central offices, which survived the storm with minor damage, phone service for emergency services is expanding in South Dade and the foundation for refining telephone service exists.
 "We've installed thousands of phone lines for government, military, medical and social service agencies during the past two weeks on an expedited basis," said Linda Isenhour, general manager-network for Southern Bell. "This is evidence that the phone system in South Dade is fully operational. In some cases, connections to individual homes have been severed and in other places phones are operational in homes which are not habitable," Isenhour said. "The key to rebuilding South Dade is communications. We've been here for 100 years and we'll be here in the future to provide the most reliable and progressive telephone service available."
 -0- 9/12/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: To interview Joe Lacher, president of Southern Bell in Florida, or Linda Isenhour, general manager of network operations for Southern Bell in South Florida, call contact below/
 /CONTACT: Sue Sponnoble of Southern Bell, 305-530-5409/ CO: Southern Bell ST: Florida IN: TLS SU:


GK-MA -- NYSA004 -- 8778 09/12/92 13:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 12, 1992
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