First-Time Home Buyers in Florida's Hidden Creek Development Will Enjoy First-Rate FiOS Services

TAMPA, Fla. - Sweat equity has never looked better, or been more aptly phrased, for 141 potential new homeowners in the Hidden Creek subdivision in Wimauma.  Not only will their labor to help build their first homes provide the down payments, it will also enable them to obtain Verizon FiOS services and experience the fastest Internet connection speeds and extraordinary TV picture quality in their new homes.

Under an agreement between Verizon and the Florida Home Partnership, a Florida-certified not-for-profit home builder, Verizon will deliver industry-leading telecommunications services over its all-fiber network for these first-time homeowners with modest incomes.

"People who have had long-standing hopes of owning a home will realize their dreams with Florida Home Partnership," said Eric Cevis, vice president of Verizon Enhanced Communities, the company's business organization that markets and sells communications and entertainment services to single- and multiple-home properties.

"Better still, their new home-owning experience will be enhanced by the most advanced network for voice, data and TV services available in the market today - FiOS services.  Whether supporting high-speed access to academic resources for kids, or stunningly clear HD picture quality for parents, FiOS creates a great home environment for all homeowners," said Cevis.  "Simply put, it matters which network is connected to your TV, computer and phone - and nothing is better than FiOS."

Since the end of 2005, Verizon Enhanced Communities has aggressively pursued agreements with property owners to bring FiOS to their properties. To date, VEC has entered agreements with developers and contractors for new developments under construction covering 4000,000 private households and is offering FiOS to 750,000 apartment units across 16 states where the company is currently building its all-fiber network.

Florida Home Partnership Inc. provides affordable housing opportunities through the USDA Mutual Self-Help Housing Program. It is the largest builder in this program east of the Mississippi River.  Self-Help Housing, also known as "sweat-equity housing," allows first-time homebuyers to exchange 600 hours of unskilled and semi-skilled labor for a down payment on their home.  Founded in 1993, Florida Home Partnership, formerly known as Homes for Hillsborough, has helped hundreds of clients who meet program eligibility build their own homes through the mutual self-help method.

"Our families work hard building their houses and work even harder to create a home once they move in," said Earl Pfeiffer, executive director, Florida Home Partnership.  "It is our hope that this initiative will help them go to the front of the line for the best available home communications and broadband entertainment services and give them an edge on developing a highly functional, productive and enjoyable home life."

Verizon is the only major telecom company whose network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes.

Verizon FiOS can deliver Internet access with maximum downstream connection speeds of up to 50 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps over the nation's most advanced digital, all-fiber-optic network.  At 50 Mbps, downloading a 1.2 GB (gigabyte), or 90-minute, standard-definition movie takes approximately 3.2 minutes. Upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps make modern video and file-sharing a snap over the nation's only large-scale fiber-optic network that extends all the way to customers' homes or small- and medium-sized businesses. Using a 20 Mbps upstream broadband connection, a person could upload a 250 megabyte (MB) file or a 3,500 page document in about 90 seconds, compared with about 47 minutes over a 768 kilobits per second (kbps) upstream connection.

Verizon's fiber-optic network also delivers amazingly sharp pictures and sound with FiOS TV, and has the capacity to transmit a wide array of high-definition programming that is so clear and intense it seems to leap from the TV screen. Verizon's FiOS TV service offers a broad collection of all-digital programming, with more than 400 total channels and 10,000 video-on-demand titles per month, 70 percent of which are free.  The VOD library also includes an increasing number of HD titles, with 1,000 HD VOD titles per month by year-end.

Verizon Enhanced Communities received the Cornerstone Award from Broadband Properties Magazine acknowledging the organization for outfitting a 300-unit, eight-building JPI residential community with Verizon's FiOS all-fiber-optic network services in just 14 days.  For more information about the products and services available through Verizon Enhanced Communities, visit www.verizon.com/communities.

For more information on Florida Home Partnership, visit www.flhome.org/index.html.

About Florida Home Partnership Inc.
Florida Home Partnership offers affordable homeownership opportunities to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers through the USDA Mutual Self-Help Housing Program.  This program began over 40 years ago, and mirrors the "barnraisings" of the Quakers -- with neighbors helping neighbors. The Self-Help Housing program allows individuals to contribute labor, or "sweat equity," to the construction of a new home in exchange for the down payment.  No construction experience is necessary.  This program is ideal for those desiring homeownership but have limited resources.  Florida Home Partnership is currently building in Hillsborough County and will be expanding the program into Pasco County within the year.

About Verizon
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.