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CONSUMER ALERT

What if your power goes out?
Important reminders from Pacific Bell


Even with the rolling blackouts that California has been experiencing, Pacific Bell's telecommunications network will remain fully operational. That's because Pacific Bell's network has been designed and engineered with dependable back up power sources to ensure network reliability and it is constantly monitored 24 hours a day.

There remains the possibility that customers will lose phone service if they are using phone equipment that uses electricity. Customers should have emergency preparedness strategies and alternatives in place so they continue to receive calls and messages when there is no electrical power. Here are some reminders:

· Make sure you have at least one telephone in your home and office that does not use an electrical outlet. Cordless phones do not work in power outages, so customers should always have on hand a regular non-electrically powered telephone that can quickly plug into a telephone jack.

· Don't count on answering machines during an outage. Answering machines, and telephones attached to them rely on electricity and will not operate during a blackout. Pacific Bell Voice Mail for businesses, and The Message Center, Pacific Bell's residential voicemail will be fully operational. Voicemail with pager notification has the capability to automatically notify you of each incoming call.

· If you want to leave your home or office because of a blackout, use call forwarding to transfer calls to another location or PCS phone.

· Make sure you have a charged backup battery for your PCS phone.

Businesses served by Pacific Bell Centrex will not lose telephone service in a blackout because the power is supplied from the Pacific Bell central office. Customers using PBX equipment will suffer a loss of dial tone and should have backup plans for the rolling blackouts.

Pacific Bell Internet supplies its own power, so during a blackout both dial-up and DSL customers could continue with Internet access as long as they have other means to supply power to their computers. Customers' Web sites will continue to be available.

While Pacific Bell's redundant network will continue to process phone calls, it is possible other facilities such as a customer service center could be temporarily affected by a blackout. Systems are in place so that calls to such facilities could be quickly re-routed to a separate center with little impact on customers.

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