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Sandy Unlikely To Damage US Economy, Analysts Say

â¿¿ TELECOMS

When disaster strikes, phone and Internet service often takes a hit, right when it's needed the most. Phone companies on the eastern seaboard were topping up fuel for backup generators and lining up disaster recovery trailers to move into flooded areas after the storm passes.

Verizon, the largest landline phone company on the East Coast, said the storm had not yet had any major effect, and its network was performing normally. Verizon said all its cell tower sites have at least eight hours of backup power.

At AT&T, employees were adding portable generators to cell towers and checking on fuel levels.

Even if cellphones work, wireless networks may be overloaded by people calling to check in on each other or surfing the Web. That's why cellphone companies recommend text messaging rather than calling in any disaster, because text messages use much less network capacity.

___

AP Business Writers Matthew Craft, Anne D'Innocenzio, Samantha Bomkamp and Joyce M Rosenberg in New York, Joshua Freed in Minneapolis and Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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