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Verizon Offers Communications Help to Harvey-Affected Customers

Verizon is giving Texas wireless customers impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which impacted people living in hundreds of miles along the Gulf Coast and inland, a helping hand.

It will give post-paid customers in South Texas data, text and voice "relief."

“All of our post-paid customers are getting unlimited data, talk and texts regardless of whether they have our unlimited plan," said a Verizon spokesperson. The company will also give an extra 3GB of free data to pre-paid customers. Both special dispensations will be available between Aug. 26 through Sept. 8.

Related: KHOU Houston's Harvey Coverage Draws National Attention

Given the widespread power outages in the continuing wake of the storm, Verizon is also dispatching mobile units to charge wireless phones, workstations and computers.

As to the current state of the network — the FCC said Sunday that across all carriers 320 cell sites were down and about 4.1% of sites in affected areas according to industry self-reporting — Verizon said that over 98% of its sites were in service, including with backup generators and a 24/7 command center assessing damage and mobilizing response.

"We are in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them," the company said in a statement.

“Thanks to wireless, millions of people in the path of Hurricane Harvey have been able to seek help and connect with family and loved ones in the face of this unprecedented event,” said CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker of the efforts of T-Mobile and others. “I’m proud of the planning and close collaboration of carriers to prepare for the storm and the ongoing work to both maintain and restore service.”

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.