Monday, September 5, 2005

BellSouth: 810,000 Lines Still Down, Cost at $400-600 Million

As of September 6, an estimated 810,000 BellSouth lines remain impacted in the areas along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama affected by Hurricane Katrina. In this same area, BellSouth has 131 central offices, with all but 19 operating. These 19 central offices serve approximately 187,000 access lines, with 166,000 of these lines being in the New Orleans area. Restoration plans for these 19 offices are being developed, although the company said restoration in New Orleans will depend on how long it takes to drain the floodwaters and rebuild the city.

BellSouth said it is too early to project the total magnitude of destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, but based on the information available today and without the opportunity to survey and physically assess the entire area, BellSouth's initial estimate is a cost of $400-600 million, including both capital and expense, for network restoration.

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