NEW YORK, Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Less than seven weeks after Hurricane Sandy, Verizon has finalized another important step in the transformation of the communications infrastructure of lower Manhattan by completing the installation of fiber-optic cables between the company's two critical central switching offices there and buildings put out of service by the storm surge. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121219/NY32191 ) The completion of the fiber-installation phase of the project – with more than 5,000 miles of fiber strands already in place -- enables Verizon to dramatically modernize communications capabilities for customers as it restores services to the businesses and office buildings in lower Manhattan that were impacted by the hurricane. Once the project is complete, the area will have the nation's most advanced communications infrastructure, providing customers with the highest level of service and reliability. Furthermore, the modernization project will make lower Manhattan "future-proof," enabling Verizon to continually update the communications infrastructure with new capabilities for decades to come. ( Note: To view or download photos of Verizon technicians constructing a telecom room at 55 Water St., installing fiber-optic cables at John and Pearl streets, and a Verizon representative taking FiOS orders in the lobby at 55 Broad St., go to http://vz.to/VNPcQ0. For additional photos, visit http://vz.to/UaaBH1.) During the restoration process, Verizon has provided alternate communications solutions to thousands of small businesses and residential customers in the area and elsewhere around the metro area to get them back in business and their communications flowing. The company has provided call-forwarding capabilities to approximately 7,000 lines of consumers and small businesses so that calls are automatically forwarded to a working landline or cellphone number. In addition, the company has provided at no charge to customers more than 2,600 Verizon Wireless Home Phone Connect and Verizon 4G LTE Jetpack™ Mobile Hotspot devices.