Verizon to Compete for Federal Agencies' Local Communications Business in Baltimore

NEW YORK - Verizon has won the right to offer local voice and data communications services to federal agencies in Baltimore under a Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA) "crossover" contract modification recently granted by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Federal agencies in the Baltimore area are expected to spend over $320 million on local communications services between 2000 and 2008.

Federal agencies in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, as well as the area of Anne Arundel County around the Baltimore-Washington Airport, will now benefit from increased competition for local communications services. The Baltimore MAA was awarded to another contractor in March 2000 and until now Verizon had been unable to offer services to government agencies under the Baltimore MAA.

The "crossover" provisions in the GSA-administered MAA program enable companies awarded an MAA contract in one city to submit a proposal to offer service in another MAA city. Modification proposals can be submitted to the GSA one year after the award of the original contract for the city targeted for service extension. In late January, Verizon submitted a proposal to the GSA to modify the company's MAA contract for Norfolk, Va., to offer local communications services to federal agencies in Baltimore. Verizon was awarded the Norfolk MAA in early January.

"This 'crossover' award underscores the power of competition and choice that the GSA's MAA program is fostering in the federal communications marketplace," said Veronica Pellizzi, senior vice president, sales, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group. "Verizon now has the ability to compete for business based on the ability to provide reliable, cost-effective products and services. This is a positive step forward as Verizon seeks to regain access lines that were lost to competition."

Under terms of the "crossover" modification, Verizon initially will offer analog and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) circuit switched voice and data services, as well as dedicated transmission services. In addition, Verizon intends to offer a broad range of advanced communications products and services, including frame relay, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), packet switched services, Internet protocol (IP) services, synchronous optical network (SONET) rings and video teleconferencing, as well network management and business continuity services.

To ensure the timely introduction of commercially available technologies to federal agencies, the contract also contains provisions for Verizon to offer emerging communications products and services, such as voice over IP. In addition, Verizon will provide complete maintenance programs, customer premises equipment from a variety of leading vendors and related services, as required.

Verizon has actively participated in the GSA MAA program since its inception in 1998. In January 2000, the company was awarded the Washington Intragency Telecommunications System (WITS 2001) contract to provide local communications services in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Subsequent awards were made later that year for Buffalo, N.Y., and Boston.

In April 2001, Verizon received the first-ever local "crossover" contract modification to offer local communications services in the New York City metropolitan area under its Buffalo contract. Verizon now competes for local communications business with federal agencies in the New York metropolitan area. It is estimated that these agencies will spend approximately $200 million on local communications and associated services between 1999 and 2007.

The GSA-administered MAA program is the federal government's tool for achieving benefits from a competitive local communications market. The program's objective is to provide high-quality, cost-competitive local communications services in selected metropolitan regions throughout the United States. To date, the GSA has awarded contracts for 23 major cities.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group manages the design, operation and maintenance of end-to-end total network integrated solutions for large business and government customers across the United States. With over 14,500 employees in 46 states, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group offers a complete range of basic and advanced communications products and services to meet the voice, video, data and IP-related needs of its customers. For more information on products and services available through Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group, please visit www.verizon.com/enterprisesolutions.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) 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 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.