WASHINGTON, D.C. --The unprecedented attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon this morning are severely taxing both voice and data networks on the East Coast.
Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell confirmed that his companys network is operational but badly overloaded.
"Theres an awful lot of calling going on. We appear to have no disruption on the network. Were taking all the traffic we can hold," Mitchell said.
Many long distance voice calls on the eastern seaboard are not connecting. But data networks appear to be holding up. America Online is fully operational, as is its Instant Messenger system, which in many cases is the only means of communication into the destruction-rattled areas.
AT&T released a statement indicating that while carriers long distance network is up nationwide, its local network has been damaged in New York City and Washington. The World Trade Center collapse resulted in equipment damage and has impacted local service provided to business customers in sections of New York City.
"The volume of calls traveling AT&T network today is twice the normal business day and that results in a serious network congestion of circuits serving a number of East Coast communities," said spokeswoman Nancy Stinsin. "To keep as many circuits available as possible for emergency calling, the AT&T is asking customers to hold off non-essential calls to the emergency area until the situation stabilizes."
Early reports indicate that a major fiber hub near the Trade Center at 60 Hudson survived the collapse of the twin towers and is operational.
According to companies colocated at 60 Hudson, one of the main carrier hotels supplying telephone and data connectivity to much of Wall Street, the exchange has not been damaged.
"I understand that our network at 60 Hudson is secure and has not been damaged," said Jonathan Marshall, a spokesman for broadband connectivity provider Yipes that had plans to deploy services inside the World Trade Center. "We got a customer who checked about their equipment colocated inside 60 Hudson, and everything is fine."
Marshall said Yipes didnt deploy its equipment inside the World Trade Center yet.
"Its all academic anyway because there would not be customers in the World Trade Center for a long time I imagine," he said.
AT&T executives cancelled new services-related interviews from the trade show Networld + Interop in Atlanta this morning. They believed the show would be shut down early because of this mornings terrorist attack. Some attendants were planning to rent cars and drive back to their homes of East Coast.
Keynote Systems reports on its site Internethealthreport.com that the major data carriers are all operating smoothly, with the exception of AT&T, which is suffering high latency.