Consumers in 3 More Western Mass. Towns Now Have High-Speed Access to the Internet

WORTHINGTON, Mass. - Consumers and businesses in Colrain, Plainfield and Worthington, Mass., now have access to the Internet - at rocket speeds powered by Verizon.

Verizon announced Tuesday (Sept. 9) that its High Speed Internet service is now available in most areas of these three towns, the latest of 24 western Massachusetts communities where Verizon is bringing the service.  Previously, these communities did not have access to broadband service.

Earlier this month, Verizon introduced the service in the western Massachusetts communities of Blandford, Becket, Cummington, Florida, Goshen, Middlefield, New Marlborough, Sandisfield, Tolland and Washington. The project is completely funded by Verizon, which is investing an additional $200 million in Massachusetts this year to expand its world-class broadband network. 

Verizon's High Speed Internet service will give Internet users the ability to download at speeds of 768 Kbps (kilobits per second), 21 times faster than the current dial-up capability.

"We are proud to be able to bring the benefits of broadband Internet service to consumers in these three towns today and soon to thousands more consumers in western Massachusetts," said Donna C. Cupelo, Verizon region president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. "Verizon's investments in Massachusetts have been and will continue to be a major contributor to growing the state's economy."

By year-end, Cupelo said, Verizon expects to also make High Speed Internet available in Hancock, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Monroe, Montgomery, New Ashford, Pelham, Rowe, Westhampton and Windsor and to make the service more widely available in Shutesbury.

State Rep. Stephen Kulik of Worthington, who represents the First Franklin District, said: "I applaud Verizon for bringing High Speed Internet service to Colrain, Plainfield, Worthington and other unserved communities in western Massachusetts.  This effort complements our work in state government to expand broadband service to every part of the Commonwealth, including the smallest towns.  I look forward to continuing to work with Verizon as it expands its network to better meet the telecommunications needs of people and businesses in our region."

Verizon will notify potential customers of the availability of the service in a number of ways, including direct mail, media advertising and contact with local officials in each community. Consumers can call 1-800-870-9999 or visit www.verizon.com to order the service or to determine whether the service is available to their home or business. Spanish-speaking customers can call 1-800-430-2222.

When the work is completed, Verizon expects High Speed Internet service will be available to 70 percent of the company's customer lines, on average, in the 24 towns. The new broadband deployment of Verizon's High Speed Internet network will reach three-fourths of the western Massachusetts communities identified by the state as having no high-speed broadband services.

Prices for Verizon High Speed Internet service start at $19.99 per month.

The service is delivered on a dedicated line from Verizon's central office to the customer's home and is backed by live, 24 x 7 customer service and technical support.  High Speed Internet subscribers have access to an extensive collection of features and services, including online protection with Verizon Internet Security Suite; Verizon Enhanced Email; Verizon Premium Tech Support; Online gaming; free news from ABC News Now; free sports from ESPN360; and more. 

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.