23 January 2004 Manchester, NH Lightwave--Since the news media and political teams began descending on New Hampshire to prepare for primary voting on Tuesday, Verizon technicians have installed over 1,000 requested temporary phone lines -- at least two to three times the company's normal fall and winter volume of line installations in the state. In addition, the company has installed at least 50 special data and video circuits for news organizations.
"We expected an increased demand for phone lines as the primary got closer, but with the Iowa caucuses completed, we have seen a significant flurry of additional activity from news organizations that have now decided to cover the primary or have sent additional personnel," said Mike Hickey, Verizon New Hampshire president. "In addition, some of the candidates' organizations are now asking for more lines. Of course, we're ready to meet their needs and even extraordinary demands."
Hickey added that based on Verizon's experience with presidential primaries over the last two decades, the company during the last four years has installed new fiber-optic links at some buildings where candidates traditionally hold rallies and other events.
"By pre-positioning some of this advanced fiber-optic technology, we're able to quickly provide circuits for broadcasters who want to feed video signals elsewhere without waiting for a normal installation to be completed," Hickey said.
Since Verizon expects the demand for extra phone lines to continue through Tuesday, the company will have technicians standing by to meet last-minute needs. Hickey said the company has assigned a team of about 10 technicians and managers to focus solely on primary-related requests.