SPRINT NETWORKS STAND UP TO HURRICANE ANDREW
SPRINT NETWORKS STAND UP TO HURRICANE ANDREW KANSAS CITY, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Sprint's (NTSE: FON) local and
long distance telephone networks withstood the 100-plus mile-per-hour winds, torrential rains and flooding from Hurricane Andrew, the worst tropical storm to hit Florida and Louisiana in decades.
"Our network reliability planning and preparation not only allowed our network to withstand Andrew, but we were able to focus some effort on humanitarian relief to Florida and Louisiana residents," said Mick McCarthy, Sprint's senior vice president of network operations. "Sprint's sophisticated all digital, fiber-optic network was engineered with redundancy and reliability built in. In Florida and Louisiana this week, it performed exactly as it was designed." Callers whose regular long distance carrier is experiencing an outage can access another carrier by dialing a 5-digit access code, then "1" plus the area code and the number they are calling. To access Sprint, callers dial 10333; AT&T's access code is 10288; MCI's access code is 10222. When calling from a public telephone, callers should dial the 5- digit access code plus zero and they will be connected to an operator to complete the call. "Another option for Sprint customers is to use their FONCARD(sm)," said Ron LeMay, president and chief operating officer of Sprint's Long Distance Division. "Sprint's FONCARD allows callers to charge calls from any phone and includes many features such as message delivery, international operator services and Sprint Quickconference(R), a conference calling feature." Hurricane Andrew had not yet passed the Bahamas on its way to the U.S. coast when Sprint's Emergency Restoration plan went into effect. Sprint employees practice storm drills twice a year in preparation for such emergency situations. Just this fall, the drill involved a tropical storm and its effect on the West Coast. More than 24 hours ahead of Andrew, company personnel in Naples, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., and elsewhere were already preparing for the storm based on the emergency restoration plan. Emergency power generators, fuel supplies and battery back-ups were double-checked, sandbags put in place, mobile phones readied, pager numbers re-confirmed and technicians in unaffected areas put on alert. As the storm hit South Florida, commercial power failed, necessitating the use of generators to ensure service to Sprint's equipment sites in Boca Raton, Naples and Miami. As the storm passed Florida, Sprint's Network Operations Control Center in Kansas City braced for the storm's arrival in Louisiana. Despite extensive flooding in Louisiana, Sprint's network was only negligibly affected. In areas of commercial power outages, Sprint is using backup power supplies as needed. At the request of Southern Bell, which experienced a huge increase in call activity due to the storm, Sprint's Network Operations Control Center in Kansas City restricted some calls from outside Florida which were bound for 13 exchanges. If Sprint had not restricted some of these incoming calls, Southern Bell could have overloaded its network and cut off critical emergency links because of call volume. Once the storm passed Florida, Sprint began distributing prepaid calling cards for free long distance to small business customers through its Hollywood, Fla. sales office. Sprint is also distributing several thousand certificates for free long distance calling service, which can be used from any available telephone, including payphones, to help people make contact with family. Sprint's other efforts during the storm activity include: -- Free phone call transmissions through an amateur radio group to pass messages from around the world to Miami and New Orleans. The group is called Service Personnel Radio International Network Telephone (SPRINT), a group Sprint has sponsored for several years. -- On Tuesday, United Telephone of Florida, a Sprint company, delivered two generators to the Miccosukee Indian Reservation located on the Dade/Collier county border line. The reservation lost commercial power during the storm and officials are unsure when it will be restored. The two loaned generators are being used to power the medical facility, police station, and other public buildings which serve the 400 people living on the reservation. -- United Telephone of Florida donated food for dinner Monday for 1,100 evacuees from the Miami area staying at an Orange County high school in south Orlando. Sprint is a diversified international telecommunications company with $8.9 billion in annual revenues and the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network. Its divisions provide global long distance voice, data and video products and services, and local telephone services to more than 4 million subscriber lines in 17 states. -0- 8/26/92 /CONTACT: Steve Dykes 202-828-7435, or home, 703-242-1769, or Angela Peacock, 202-828-7411, or home 301-564-4984/ (FON) CO: Sprint ST: Missouri, Florida IN: TLS SU: TM -- NY097 -- 3718 08/26/92 18:36 EDT
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|Date:||Aug 26, 1992|
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