Jonesboro-Based Optus Inc. Assists in Hurricane Katrina Recovery

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Optus Inc. President and CEO Mark Duckworth confirmed today the company has already shipped telecommunications equipment into areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Optus Inc. ( President and CEO Mark Duckworth confirmed today the company has already shipped telecommunications equipment into areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Optus has fulfilled several requests for equipment by first responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina including an upgrade to the existing NEC telecommunications system at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center ( located in Biloxi, Miss.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to those who lost their families or homes as a result of the hurricane. Re-establishing the vital communication link into the area is essential to the rescue and recovery effort. This is what we do and Optus employees are very pleased our expertise will be of assistance to those affected,” said Ed Martin, VP of Sales.

The equipment Optus Telequip supplied will enable local Emergency Management and FEMA ( to set up an operations center in Biloxi, close to those who need assistance.

The system expansion will be handled by Optus Authorized Reseller, American Systems Technology, based in St. Rose, La. Optus employees in the Jonesboro, Ark. plant refurbished 30 phones, two port interface modules, and various circuit cards necessary for the expansion and shipped the order the same day it was received.

Our 24-hour emergency parts service (800-628-7491 parts) and close proximity to Federal Express will be invaluable to first responders and business owners as they seek to re-open their organizations.

“Thanks to the teamwork, technical expertise and internal processes of Optus Plant Operations, we are able to respond to emergency demand for equipment,” said Pat Bohrman, plant manager. “Using Optus refurbished telecom gear will minimize the financial impact to our customers as they replace damaged telecommunications equipment. Our entire plant staff is ready to do whatever it can to help restore communications so the rebuilding process can begin.”

“We are proud to be part of the recovery effort and anticipate these initial orders to be just the first of many which will be required over the coming weeks and months,” said Duckworth. “We are gearing up to supply vital communications technologies to organizations whose communication infrastructure was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. I have already made arrangements with NEC and other Optus suppliers to ensure we are able to respond rapidly to any needs that arise.”

Optus employees are giving more than just their expertise in the telecommunications field.

“Our employees want to make a difference in the lives of individuals who have had their lives turned upside down. We will be collecting non-perishable food, baby supplies, soaps, and other necessities,” said Lori Smith, human resource manager. “Some of our employees will also be assisting in the shelters that have been set up in Jonesboro. In addition to relief efforts there, we are accepting monetary donations, including checks made payable to American Red Cross at our Telemation facilities ( in Dallas, Houston, Texarkana, Galveston, Little Rock, Memphis and St. Louis.”

Optus Inc. is one of the largest providers in the nation for both new and refurbished communication equipment. Headquartered in Jonesboro, Ark., Optus maintains a multi-million dollar inventory of new and used telecommunications, data, and video equipment from manufacturers like NEC, Cisco, Nortel, Avaya, Polycom, AVST, Toshiba and others. To learn more about Optus Inc., how they can assist you in the hurricane recovery efforts, or other Optus products or services, please visit the Optus web site at (

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