Consumers and Small Businesses in Six States Can Now Choose FiOS Internet Connections of Up to 50 Mbps From Verizon

NEW YORK - The standard for consumer and small-business Internet access is going up again with Verizon's introduction Monday (Feb. 26) of an up-to-50 Mbps FiOS Internet service in parts of five counties in the Tampa, Fla., area.  This marks the sixth state where Verizon, the company building the nation's most advanced digital all-fiber-optic network, is now providing this unprecedented speed.

"Customers expect more and more broadband speed for managing their work or their personal lives," said Brian Whitton, executive director of access network design and integration for Verizon Telecom.  "Verizon's ability to deliver ever-higher broadband connection speeds in an increasing number of markets illustrates the real benefits of deploying fiber optics all the way into customers' homes.  Only Verizon is creating a network with the headroom to quickly and efficiently accommodate customers' growing needs for more speed to maximize their online experiences."

Florida joined Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island as states where Verizon has increased the maximum connection speed of both its mid-tier and top-tier FiOS Internet services.

The mid-tier maximum connection speed in those markets was increased from up to 15 Mbps (megabits per second) downstream and 2 Mbps upstream to up to 20/5 Mbps, and the top-tier service was increased from up to 30/5 Mbps to up to 50/5 Mbps. The company plans similar FiOS Internet speed increases this year in some of the 10 other states where the service is available.  Specifics will be announced at a later date.

Verizon is the first and only major communications and entertainment provider to be certified by the independent Fiber to the Home Council as providing customers with 100 percent fiber-optic service.

Studies show that homeowners recognize that an all-fiber connection can increase the market value of their homes. For example, an independent survey of owners of homes with fiber connections, recently conducted by RVA Render, Vanderslice & Associates, shows that the owners estimate their homes are worth an average of $4,318 more when served by fiber optics all the way to the home.

More than 6 million homes and businesses in parts of 16 states are now passed by Verizon's all-fiber network, and the company expects its new network to pass about 18 million premises by the end of 2010.  FiOS Internet service is offered in more than 1,600 communities across parts of all 16 states where the company's new network is deployed: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington.  The company currently offers FiOS TV service in parts of ten states: California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

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 more than 59 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.