PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, CO, Dec. 22, 2008 – The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) again is turning to Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q) and its industry-leading fiber-optic network to help track Santa Claus on his annual flight on Christmas Eve when he delivers presents to children around the world.
Personnel at the NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) operations center, which is located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, will use fighter jets, satellites, radar systems and Qwest’s high-speed communications services to track Santa. Information about Santa’s flight and the specific locations where he is stopping will be provided to the public by phone and on the NORAD Tracks Santa website.
“While Santa’s eight tiny reindeer can move his sleigh full of toys pretty fast, Qwest’s fiber-optic network operates at the speed of light, so we’ll be able to stay at least one step ahead of them and quickly report their whereabouts to everyone tracking the flight,” said Diana Gowen, senior vice president and general manager of Qwest Government Services. “Qwest supports NORAD with advanced communications services throughout the year, and we’re pleased to be on their team again for this critical holiday mission.”
The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, is now live and features fun holiday games and activities. On Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24, NORAD will track Santa’s flight and provide live video feeds throughout the day starting at 6 a.m. EST, which is 5 a.m. CST, 4 a.m. MST and 3 a.m. PST.
Starting at the same time, callers to 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877 556-5211) can speak directly to the trackers at NORAD to get Santa’s exact location. They can also be reached by e-mail at email@example.com
The U.S. military has tracked Santa’s flight on Christmas Eve since 1955, and this year marks the 50th anniversary that NORAD has led the mission. Last year, the NTS operations center, which was staffed by more than 1,000 volunteers, answered nearly 95,000 phone calls and received 140,000 e-mails from around the world. The website received more than 10.6 million unique visitors from 212 countries and territories.
Qwest Government Services, which is a division of Qwest and located in Arlington, Va., provides comprehensive communications and networking services and technical solutions for the federal marketplace, including NORAD, the Department of Defense (DoD), NASA theDepartment of Veterans Affairs (VA), the General Services Administration (GSA) and other government agencies.
Customers coast to coast and at the North Pole turn to Qwest's industry-leading national fiber-optic network and world-class Spirit of Service to meet their communications and entertainment needs. For residential customers, including jolly old elves with beards white as snow, Qwest’s powerful combination of award-winning high-speed Internet, home and wireless voice solutions and digital TV includes a new generation offiber-optic Internet services. Qwest is also the choice of 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies, offering a full suite of network, data and voice services for small businesses, large businesses, government agencies, wholesale customers and toy workshops. Additionally, Qwest participates in Networx, the largest communications services contract in the world, and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by a leading technology industry analyst.
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