Verizon Hardware Caused New York City Phone Outage

 
 
By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2010-07-27
 
 
 

Verizon experienced an outage July 26 that knocked out landline calls in a portion of midtown Manhattan. AT&T's wireless network in the area was also affected.

"A piece of communications equipment (a digital cross connect, to be specific) in one of our Manhattan central offices did not operate normally Monday. Verizon technical teams and our vendor troubleshot the issue," a Verizon spokesperson e-mailed to eWEEK on July 27. "Not all voice calls in the area were impacted by this piece of equipment."

The spokesperson added that any calls routed through that hardware, located on East 30th Street, experienced a fast busy signal. At eWEEK's offices, located on East 28th Street, phones were dead; Verizon representatives told an eWEEK IT administrator that an outage had affected data lines for the office telephones and faxes. Other outages were reported across a swath of midtown, from East to West.

AT&T's wireless network in the area was also affected, according to reports.

Verizon reported losses of $198 million for the second quarter, despite revenues of $26.8 billion. The one-time factors responsible for that loss included integration costs and taxes associated with the carrier's Alltel acquisition, and charges of $2.3 billion related to buyouts of 10,000 employees.

During that same period, however, Verizon claimed it added 1.4 million net customers, bringing its total customer base to 92.1 million-enough to keep it just ahead of archrival AT&T, which boasts 90.1 million subscribers and the exclusive right to carry the bestselling iPhone in the United States.

In order to counter AT&T's exclusive contract for the iPhone, Verizon has been pushing its own franchise of Android-powered smartphones, including the Droid Incredible and the Droid X. The latter device has sparked strong demand, selling out at Verizon's retail stores.

"Our approach is to support a number of different operating systems and platforms, and to offer a robust lineup of devices, which gives us the opportunity to not only attract new customers, but upgrade our existing customers," John Killian, Verizon's chief financial officer, said during a July 23 conference call with media and analysts. "I can't say enough about the opportunity we see ahead."

In June, Barclays Capital analyst James Ratcliffe predicted that the iPhone will launch on Verizon's network in early 2011, based on "channel checks by our communications equipment and semiconductor research partners." Verizon executives have also deemed the iPhone's appearance on their platform as "inevitable," but other analysts have suggested that T-Mobile could be the device's next U.S. carrier.


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