Verizon to Begin Deployment of New Technology That Increases Speed of FiOS Fiber-to-the-Premises Links by Four to Eight Times

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Verizon will soon begin deploying an advanced technology from Alcatel-Lucent that will dramatically improve the capabilities of Verizon's industry-leading 16-state fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, the company announced Tuesday (March 27).

The new technology, called a gigabit passive optical network (G-PON), increases the aggregate broadband speeds on Verizon's FTTP systems by four times downstream to the customer, and by eight times upstream back to the Internet.  This provides the capability for future enhancements to FiOS Internet Services and FiOS TV. Verizon will be the first major telecommunications company to deploy the new technology to customers in the United States.

Mark Wegleitner, Verizon senior vice president and chief technology officer, announced the initial G-PON deployment during his keynote address at the annual Optical Fiber Communication Conference & Exposition and the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference here. He said that the new technology will be rolled out first to a group of customers in Lewisville, Texas, early in the second quarter, and then to a group of customers in  Kirklyn, Pa., over the summer.  At the successful conclusion of the initial deployments, plans for wider expansion of the new technology will be announced.

In the meantime, Verizon will continue deploying the broadband passive optical network (B-PON) technology that the company has been using since it began construction of its all-fiber network in 2004.

"Customer bandwidth appetite is growing fast, and we engineered our FiOS network to respond to that need quickly," Wegleitner said. "This important step underscores how easily we can increase the speed and other capabilities of the fiber without changing the design of the fiber plant.  Simply by deploying G-PON optics and associated electronics, we get a significant boost in bandwidth.  This will allow us to continue offering our customers the best broadband, video and voice services available today and tomorrow."

Cindy Christy, president of Alcatel-Lucent's North America business, said, "Verizon is creatively and aggressively transforming its network to deliver a rich mix of voice, video and data services to its subscribers. Our innovation and expertise in the G-PON area provides a long-term strategic advantage to Verizon now and in the future as it best meets demands for higher capacity, personal and blended services over converged networks."

Verizon and Alcatel-Lucent also announced that they have reached a definitive agreement under which Alcatel-Lucent will supply the G-PON equipment to Verizon.  Verizon announced the selection of Alcatel-Lucent last summer, and both parties had been working on a definitive contract since then.

The new equipment includes new optical network terminals (ONTs) where Verizon's fiber terminates at customers' homes and optical loop terminals (OLTs) in Verizon's central switching offices.

The new G-PON electronics on Verizon's network will allow the company to dramatically increase the speed and bandwidth of FiOS. Currently in Verizon's network, a single fiber from a Verizon switching office has transmission speeds of 622 Mbps (megabits per second) downstream and 155 Mbps upstream.  When the fiber reaches a neighborhood it is split up to feed multiple fibers, serving as many as 32 customers.  With G-PON electronics, that same fiber from the switching office will have a downstream transmission speed of 2.4 Gbps (gigabits per second) and an upstream speed of 1.2 Gbps.

The new electronics will also allow the company to make future enhancements to its ultra-high-speed FiOS Internet access and all-digital FiOS TV products, and continue to reduce the costs of deployment.

Verizon is the only major telecom company building fiber all the way to customers' homes on a mass scale.  Verizon is also 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.

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 an additional 3 million premises annually, or about 18 million premises by the end of 2010.  FiOS Internet service - which today offers download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and upstream speeds up to 5 Mbps -- 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 will deploy the Alcatel-Lucent 7342 ISAM fiber-to-the-user (FTTU) solution, already chosen by more than 20 providers worldwide for broadband and triple-play services.  It extends the bandwidth potential of fiber from the network core to the subscriber premises, using the latest G-PON recommendations of the Full Service Access Network group.

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.