EVERETT, Wash. - Verizon Communications will soon bring parts of King and Snohomish counties one of the most significant advancements in telecommunications technology in the past 100 years.
The company today announced plans to build a fiber-optic network that will deliver the region's fastest data speeds as well as crystal-clear voice services to Verizon local telephone customers in Bellevue, Bothell, Everett, Kenmore, Kirkland, Redmond, and adjacent areas in the two counties.
Washington becomes the 16th state in which Verizon will deploy its all-fiber network. Fiber-based services are already offered in several states, and the deployment of fiber-optic equipment continues in Oregon, California, Texas, Florida, Indiana, and the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The new network is also capable of providing in-home television service, and Verizon intends to provide a competitive choice to the existing cable television providers in the future.
Known as fiber-to-the-premises, or FTTP, the fiber-optic network uses hair-thin strands of fiber and optical electronics to directly link homes and businesses to Verizon's network. The new network replaces the traditional copper-wire connections and will unleash a range of advanced communication services.
Although the use of fiber optics is common for long-distance communications throughout the telecommunications industry, Verizon is the only major telecommunications company to begin using it to directly connect homes and businesses to the network on a widespread scale.
"We are building the communications network of the future to provide customers unmatched network reliability, incredible speed and limitless potential for voice, data and video connections," said Steve Banta, Verizon Northwest president. "We believe our FTTP project will stimulate the local economy and offer telecommuting and additional online options for our customers at an affordable price."
The principal cities and adjacent areas to be impacted first by the project include major portions of Bothell, Redmond, Kirkland and Kenmore, along with parts of the cities of Everett and Bellevue and adjacent areas of King and Snohomish counties.
Verizon expects to install more than 2.7 million feet b of fiber-optic cabling throughout the region in 2006, passing about 60,000 homes and small businesses with fiber.
Verizon's fiber cables and related equipment will be located inside the company's local central switching offices, buried in the ground or placed on utility poles using existing rights of way.
In addition to Washington, Verizon is building its FTTP network in 15 other states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.
Verizon will pass 3 million homes and businesses nationwide by the end of this year with fiber, and a total of 6 million homes and businesses by the end of 2006. To help build its network across the country, Verizon has hired about 5,000 new employees in the past year and a half.
In the Puget Sound area, Verizon plans to add about 65 full-time positions by mid-2006. The jobs involve fiber splicing, installation and repair, and engineering and drafting. The company also expects to hire about 435 contract employees by next summer to work on various aspects of the local FTTP project such as underground boring and fiber splicing.
Fiber offers tremendous advantages to network operators, in addition to new and superior services for customers. For example, fiber offers reliable service in stretches of wet weather that can affect copper-based networks.
"Verizon's 100 percent fiber-optic network is technically superior to other communication platforms because it offers faster data speeds than those currently available as well as voice and video capabilities," said Margaret Serjak, Verizon West Coast market area president of network operations. "This new network will have greater reliability and lower maintenance costs. By deploying fiber to homes and businesses in our territory, Verizon is transforming its wireline business."
Washington Leaders Praise Verizon Broadband Project
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire said, "Verizon is competing in a tough international marketplace. It's terrific that they have chosen this moment and this state for investment of this size. Their commitment to the future of Washington sends a strong signal to other potential investors -- now is the time and Washington is the place."
U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee said, "Verizon's fiber-optic rollout in Washington state will give communities, businesses and schools the capabilities they need to continue leading the nation in innovation." Inslee, who represents the 1st District, is an advocate of universal broadband access and a member of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, which is currently working to reform federal telecommunications laws.
Customer Feedback About Verizon Fiber Service Positive
Customer reaction to Verizon's new fiber-based Internet access service, called FiOS (FYE'-ose), has been very positive, with broadband subscribers rapidly increasing in markets across the country. Verizon will notify customers in Washington when FiOS is available locally.
"FiOS has been an extraordinary hit with our customers. People are literally lining up to get what they know is a fantastic service at an excellent price," said Verizon's Serjak. "The need for speed and ability to take advantage of bandwidth-intensive applications remain a top priority for all computer users."
There are three tiers of Verizon FiOS Internet Service for consumers, with downstream (download) speeds of up to 5, 15, and 30 Mbps (megabits per second).*
- 5 Mbps (megabits per second) downstream and 2 Mbps upstream. Suited for Internet surfing and basic computer functions. $34.95 a month as part of a calling package, or $39.95 a month stand-alone.
- 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream. Appealing to families that have multiple computers and various needs such as media downloads and the ability to access or share large files. $44.95 a month as part of a calling package, or $49.95 a month stand-alone.
- 30 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream. Designed for communications-intensive power users with significant bandwidth needs, such as telecommuters or work-at-home households and avid online gamers. $179.95 as part of a calling package, or $199.95 a month stand-alone.
The FTTP initiative represents a natural extension of the more than 10 million miles of fiber-optic cable Verizon already has in place and extends the high capacity, speed and quality of fiber directly to the customer's doorstep. With FTTP technology, Verizon can easily add more capacity, higher speeds or video services in the future.
Verizon's digital subscriber line (DSL) service will remain the company's most widely available form of high-speed Internet access for the foreseeable future while the company ramps up FTTP deployment. The company offers DSL on a widespread basis throughout Washington over existing copper lines at speeds of up to 3 Mbps.
*NOTE: Actual (throughput) speeds will vary.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million customers nationwide, and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers in 28 states. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of nearly 215,000 and generates annual revenues of more than $71 billion from four business segments: Domestic Telecom, Domestic Wireless, Information Services and International. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.