Verizon also extends to fee waiver to new counties

Verizon network recovery crews are playing a game of whack-a-mole in the Florida Panhandle as clean up efforts related to the Oct. 10 landfall of Hurricane Michael continue. The carrier sustained “unprecedented” damage to its fiber network during the storm, and began fixing that as soon as they could access the sites. Now, with responders from multiple agencies working alongside volunteer groups and individuals, some of the repaired fiber is accidentally being re-cut.

A Verzon spokesperson, in an Oct. 18 storm update, said there were “at least a dozen cases” of new fiber cuts “caused by the tremendous recovery activities…We ask all citizens and restoration personnel to be vigilant when working around wires. Out of caution, the best approach is to presume wires are carrying live critical communications or electricity.”

The latest parts of the impacted area to see service restored are along North Bay, Lynn Haven and eastern Panama City. Communities along Highway 390 including College Point, Hillcrest, College Wood, Brentwood Estates, and businesses in Aberdeen Parkway, Aberdeen Loop and the Lynn Haven Sports Complex are also back up.

After being pressed, notably by the chairman of the FCC and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Verizon initially decided to waive three months of service fees for residential and business customers in Gulf and Bay counties. Now the operator has extended the waiver to customers in Calhoun, Franklin, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla and Washington counties.

Verizon also said it will donate $500,00 to the American Red Cross’ recovery activities, and $500,000 to the Florida Disaster Relief Fund.


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