NEW YORK: As telephone lines were jammed across the country,
telecommunication companies issued numerous statements on the condition
of their networks.
The attacks on the World Trade Center destroyed switching equipment of
Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T, clogging local service.
Verizon held a news conference at 1pm EDT on September 12 to update the
public on the state of its local network.
Wireless phones were supplied to emergency services, and Verizon made
all calls from its 4,000 Manhattan pay phones free during the city's
state of emergency.
Four of Sprint PCS' cell sites in Manhattan were out of service through
Wednesday, and some of the landline connections were also seriously
damaged. "The company is working with federal, state, and local
officials to supply wireless phones for search-and-rescue efforts," a
AT&T issued a media advisory that confirmed its long-distance operations
were intact, but that high call volume was jamming up the system. It
also announced a donation of $1 million to the relief effort, and
$10 million in prepaid calling cards.
Michael Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),
issued a statement on September 12, citing "heroic" efforts by the
telecom industry to restore service. "This is a difficult time for
everyone, and we must be patient."