Windstream, Level 3, XO React to Superstorm Sandy

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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Verizon, AT&T and the rest of the big wireless carriers might be getting the bulk of the attention in the telco world post Hurricane Sandy, but some of the nation's biggest competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) are facing their own difficulties in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states stemming from what's been dubbed a "superstorm."

Windstream Communications says it is experiencing significant network issues in the New York City area, including impacts to two switch sites. The flooding is wreaking havoc on the company's abilities to resolve issues quickly. But regardless of roadblocks, "we are aggressively working to restore service in the New York City area," the company said.

Elsewhere, Windstream's restoration efforts continue as commercial power is restored to communities battered by Sandy. The company's switch in Newark, N.J., is back on commercial power, as are a number of network elements in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The CLEC says it is still getting a high number of customer calls. Contact centers, repair centers and network operations centers are staffed to capacity and will remain that way until service can be restored.

Windstream also said Wednesday that its data centers have withstood Sandy's wrath, so business customers throughout the country will experience continued service.

XO Communications also released a statement Wednesday morning, saying it continues to work toward assessing damage and performing recovery activities. The biggest impacts are in New York City and Philadelphia. In New York, power has been restored via generator at the company's 111 8th Ave. site, and all systems are operational. Long-haul services affected by storm damage were restored as of 3:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, the company said.

XO's central office at 75 N. Broad St. in NYC was flooded, and fuel tanks are still submerged, so the site has been shut down. It looks like it will be three to four days before restoration will happen there. The XO site at 60 Hudson and at other XO sites in New York City are operating and are fully accessible, the CLEC said. All power via generator has been restored at those locations.

A fiber cut in Philadelphia is affecting customers there. A crew is actively working to isolate specific damage.

XO expects service restoration to happen for end-users who are currently without service within a week in some areas due to commercial power loss and flooding. That estimate is subject to change based on further assessment.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Level 3 Communications said it had prepared extensively for Sandy and has had teams of technical engineers and other employees working around the clock, monitoring the situation and equipment to safeguard service.

Level 3 reports no major service disruption. There have been a few isolated incidents affecting a small number of customers, and the company says it is resolving those as quickly as possible. Level 3 is being mindful of employee safety and is cooperating with government closures in the region, so network repair response time might be delayed.

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