Verizon and New York Software Industry Association Plan Joint Council on High-Tech Services

NEW YORK -- Verizon Communications and the New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA) today said they have agreed to a plan designed to assure that companies in New York City's booming digital economy have world-class telecommunications services.

As part of the plan, Verizon and NYSIA will set up an advisory council to work on issues of special concern to Silicon Alley companies. The council will include representatives selected by Verizon and NYSIA.

In addition, Verizon will create a Silicon Alley Advocate's Office, as a liaison between the company and the professional associations in New York City that represent high-tech companies.

"The high-tech industry is important to New York City's economic viability, and it's an important market to Verizon," said Paul Crotty, Verizon group president for New York and Connecticut. "These companies have unique needs that this collaborative approach can fulfill. We want to do all we can to meet these customers' communications needs."

Crotty said the agreement is the product of a yearlong dialogue between Verizon and NYSIA.

The advocate's office will also conduct a pilot project that will serve as a resource for Silicon Alley firms. The office will be staffed with Verizon employees who are familiar with the needs of Silicon Alley companies. The advocate's office will intervene in cases where there are problems with the installation or repair of high-bandwidth voice and data services, such as T-1 lines. DSL service issues continue to be addressed through an industry collaborative process under the New York State Public Service Commission.

"We are gratified that Verizon is establishing a formal program to address the needs of Silicon Alley firms," said Bruce Bernstein, the president of the New York Software Industry Association. "Verizon is to be commended for taking the initiative and improving the cooperation between the technology community and telecommunications providers in New York City. Today's announcement is a good indication of what can be accomplished when we all work together to make sure that the telecommunications network serves everyone's needs."

New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi and his staff also assisted Verizon and the NYSIA on a variety of telecommunications issues discussed during the last year.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 101 million access line equivalents and more than 27 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.