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As emergency workers try to transport people taking refuge in New Orleans’ Superdome to Houston’s Astrodome, amid gunshots, reports of fires and overall chaos, SBC Communications Inc. is installing a communications network in the Texas football stadium for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The nation’s second-largest local phone company says it is providing refugees with up to 1,000 phones for free local and long-distance calling, as well as free wireless service with the help of Cingular Wireless. SBC Yahoo! DSL service and computers also will offer high-speed Internet access.

SBC also is installing Wi-Fi hotspots so public service workers and media can get wireless Internet access.
SBC says it expects the communications services at the Astrodome to be ready by the time the New Orleans refugees all are relocated.

“We want to make sure that hurricane victims can communicate with their loved ones, no matter where they are.” said Edward E. Whitacre, chairman and CEO of SBC Communications, in a news release. “We’re taking steps to make the necessary communications channels available.”

PhonemagTeam

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