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Digging a shovel into the ground on a sunny dayAugust 6, 2013 - Press Release

Verizon Promotes 8-11 Day as a Reminder to Call 811 Before Any Digging Project

Call-Before-You-Dig Message Complements Verizon’s Network Reliability Program 
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NEW YORK – With Aug. 11 – 8-11 Day – just around the corner, Verizon is once again highlighting the importance of calling 811 prior to any digging project, to have underground utility lines marked.

Verizon will join hundreds of companies and organizations in the U.S. that are using the special date as a reminder of the importance of safe digging. By calling the nationwide call-before-you-dig number – 811 – anyone who is digging can help prevent the unintentional strike of underground utility lines.

The 811 number was established in 2005 by the Federal Communications Commission to provide an easy and free method for protecting underground utility lines.

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Therefore, utility lines need to be properly marked because even digging a few inches risks striking an underground utility line.

“Every eight minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811,” said Diane McCarthy, senior vice president of Verizon’s service delivery and assurance group. “We at Verizon don’t want to become part of that statistic.”

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one-call center, which then notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

To watch a video about what happens at Verizon after it is notified of an 811 call, click here.

Verizon began a multiyear, multipronged network reliability program this year to further improve the overall strength of its global network. This program includes U.S. and international projects that will improve resiliency, route diversity, energy efficiency, automation and process centralization.

“While our network reliability program is focused on specific areas such as system and infrastructure upgrades, power elements and preventative maintenance, the importance of calling 811 is integral to our focus on overall network reliability,” said McCarthy. “Verizon receives more than 5 million locate requests each year, so protecting the physical network infrastructure is vital to keeping our consumer and business traffic up and running.”

The company continually trains its field operations employees on safe digging best practices and has outfitted its fleet with 811 bumper stickers. The company also distributes hats, gloves and other promotional items with the Verizon and 811 logos to the company’s field operations personnel as well as excavators, locators, municipal employees and right-of-way providers with whom Verizon works.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 100 million retail connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries.  A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 180,900.  For more information, visit about.verizon.com.

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Tags: public safety, safe digging

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