Verizon outlines plans for coverage in the case of another hurricane

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - On Friday, Verizon officials spoke to the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce at its monthly meeting. Verizon's spokesperson talked about the company's plans for coverage in the area should there be another hurricane.

Verizon officials speak about plans for coverage in the case of another hurricane. (WJHG/WECP)

When Hurricane Michael hit, Verizon customers went weeks without service. With hurricane season upon us once again, locals in Panama City and the surrounding area are worried about their cell service.

Verizon's spokesperson said the company experienced an "unprecedented amount of damage" to its fiber network because of Michael. She said service issues were because of the damaged fiberoptic lines, as they're a key piece of connectivity to cell sites. She also said Verizon has a fleet of mobile assets that it brings in when severe weather hits, and they were in the area after the storm hit, but they needed the fiber backhaul.

Now, Verizon claims it has made the necessary changes in the case we are hit by another storm.

"Since then, we have invested significantly in satellite assets. So, these assets are similar to what we had prior, but they have satellite connectivity so you don't need the fiber backhaul for that," said Verizon Spokesperson Kate Jay. "So, should we experience fiber damage like that again, we would have these assets."

Jay also said Verizon secured dedicated satellite links to ensure customers stay connected.

"One of the issues here was that people were using satellite connectivity after the storm, but it was jammed with usage because everyone was trying to use those. So, we have dedicated links that we can use to ensure that our customers stay connected should we find ourselves in the situation again," said Jay.

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