Finding answers to Oregon's hardest questions

It’s hard to believe that there is less than 3 months left in 2017. We have accomplished so much but, as always, there is more work to be done. That’s because at AT&T we find answers to the hard questions Oregonians and the rest of our country face. From a modernized first responder network, to diversity in businesses, and STEM education, you, and the rest of the AT&T family, make this possible. As I am sure you already know, many members in our family have weathered one of the 4 unprecedented natural disasters that occurred just weeks apart. I want you to know that we as a company have their backs, just like they have ours. The road to recover will be long, and we will be with them every step of the way.

Thanks for reading,

George Granger
President — AT&T Oregon

Rescue. Reconnect. Rebuild.

Two earthquakes in Mexico and a trio of hurricanes in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Houston, Louisiana and Florida have left widespread damage.

In our efforts to restore service to these areas, we've had great collaboration with government officials and others. But our people — doing the difficult, exhausting work — are making a tremendous difference.

During Hurricane Harvey, AT&T technician Hector Carrillo hauled water out of the AT&T Southwest Houston central office — 5 gallons at a time — until it could be restarted. By the time EHS arrived, Hector had removed 140 gallons of water, totaling 28 trips in waist-deep water!

There’s no doubt these disasters were merciless — 4 disasters in 4 regions in 4 weeks is hard to fathom. Many people in these communities are hurting. And there's still massive restoration to be done. But we're dedicated to seeing it through for our employees, customers and communities.

See below for a summary on our response and ongoing efforts.

Mexico

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Across Mexico, buildings collapsed, and there were many fires and gas leaks. Transportation systems were shut down, including highways, parts of the subway system and parts of the Mexico City airport.

Our teams continue to work around the clock and have made great progress on our network. However, the country is still under a national emergency. We are supporting CENACED, an organization actively working to aid relief efforts in Mexico and have given our customers in Mexico an option to support those affected by the earthquake by donating to the organization.

Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

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As the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands face a long road of recovery, we’re bringing much-needed relief. Significant storm damage, power outages and flooding interrupted service throughout the regions.

In Puerto Rico, a total power outage has affected movement and distribution of relief supplies, but John Donovan, AT&T Communications CEO, and our Network team landed in San Juan to help assess damage, develop recovery plans and donate bottled water, generators and other supplies.

In the meantime, we set up a website that will let anyone stateside (regardless of carrier) to register the cell phone number of a family member or friend who is an AT&T wireless customer in Puerto Rico. Thus far, thousands of people have signed up. When the Puerto Rico-based customer’s cell phone connects to our network in Puerto Rico, the customer will be notified that their family or friends in the U.S. have been trying to contact them.

We are also focused on network restoration in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We’ve set up a portable cell site in St. Thomas. Some network services have been restored there and throughout the rest of the Virgin Islands.

We continue to work closely with local authorities. And we're ready to begin work just as soon as we can do it safely.

Florida

Our wireless network is operating normally. The number of wireline customers without service is shrinking. We’ve brought in more than 100 additional technicians from outside Florida. More than 98% of affected network equipment is back in service. We’re adding power equipment where needed to maintain and restore wireline service. We have more than 180 wireline facilities on battery power and more than 90 on generator power.

So far, we’re working to replace more than 800,000 feet of cable. More than 1,500 utility poles have been broken or damaged and need to be replaced.

Texas and Louisiana

While Harvey resulted in terrible flooding, Irma left severe wind damage. The devastation wrought by these disasters will require a long-term effort to rebuild. The one bright spot in all this is that we're making solid progress restoring our operations in those areas. We've accomplished a lot in our response to Harvey.

All our stores are open in South Texas and Louisiana. Our wireline and wireless networks are operating business as usual. Accessibility and safety for our teams on the ground were a major concern. But in working around the clock with officials, we were able to find ways to get into many areas.

Response

Be sure to check out a blog post by Joan Marsh, AT&T executive vice president, Regulatory & State External Affairs, titled The Tale of Three Storms.

For live AT&T Response and Updates on the recent natural disasters, please visit the AT&T Newsroom. For updates in Spanish, please visit our AT&T Spanish Newscenter.

You can share this news with your friends and family, using the social media buttons below:

George Granger, President of AT&T-Oregon, has focused his career on the wireless industry and a remarkable commitment to community service. He is excited to be part of the wonderful Oregon community. His work will be focused on community partnerships and working with elected officials throughout the state. Granger, whose wireless industry resume is broad, understands how government works better than most executives because he had hands-on experience in politics and working for public officials. For nearly 20 years from 1994 until he moved to Oregon in 2013, Granger was an elected member of the Castro Valley School Board, serving as president of the board three times. He was an activist president, leading three successful campaigns to pass school bonds that funded more than $100 million in facility improvements. He learned about public service at the beginning of his career, when he worked for two leading California public officials: Congressman Pete Stark and Bill Lockyer, who currently is California’s State Treasurer but previously was the state’s Attorney General and before that President of the California State Senate. Granger’s wireless career started at Cingular Wireless, where he became the company’s Director of External Affairs. In that role, he directed legislative and regulatory activities in eight states in the West Region, including California, Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, and Utah. After Cingular merged with AT&T Wireless, Granger was charged with managing AT&T’s relationship in an important region of California that included Silicon Valley, then was named Executive Director of External Affairs for AT&T’s Bay Area Team, which covered Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano Counties. In addition to his work for AT&T and the School Board Granger found time to broaden his public service through a host of boards. He served on the boards of the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, the East Bay Cancer Support Group, the East Bay Regional Park District Foundation, the Chabot Space and Science Center, and ECHO Housing. He also served in the roles of Chairman of the United Way Giving Campaign in Alameda County and President of the Alameda County School Board Association. Granger most recently was AT&T’s representative to help build  the “Remember Them” project. “Remember Them” is a 52-foot-long and 25-foot-high bronze sculpture in Oakland, CA that depicts 25 civil rights activists, including Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Mahatma Gandi, Oskar Schindler, Harvey Milk and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. among others. “Remember Them” is the largest bronze monument west of the Mississippi and the only one dedicated to civil rights.

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