Verizon Completes Purchase of OnePoint; Unit to Be Renamed 'Verizon Avenue'

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) announced today it has completed its purchase of OnePoint Communications Corp., a leading provider of packaged data and voice telecommunications services to apartment buildings and condominiums.

The company, which will be renamed Verizon Avenue, will add a focus on office buildings and other multi-unit structures and will offer high-speed Internet, voice and video services to customers in 31 states.

"Verizon Avenue will offer residents and tenants in apartments and other multi-unit and community settings a clear and superior alternative to cable modems for high-speed Internet services and other advanced telecommunications services," said Bruce Gordon, president of Verizon Retail Markets. "High-speed Internet access is the 'work-out' room of the new millennium - all residents will expect it as an amenity in their apartment communities. And office tenants will find it essential to conduct business."

High-speed Internet access will be offered over regular copper phone lines by using DSL (digital subscriber line) service supported by equipment located in apartment and office buildings, rather than in distant network hubs. "By placing DSL equipment on site and close to the customers in these buildings, connection speeds and performance will be optimized," said Jim Otterbeck, Verizon Avenue chief executive officer. "All circuits will be well within the distance limitations of DSL, making Verizon Avenue's high-speed Internet access available to every resident or tenant in a Verizon Avenue building.

Verizon Avenue has marketing contracts for 690,000 multiple dwelling units in 31 states - including markets such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver and Phoenix, which are beyond the franchise territories served by Verizon's telephone companies. Nationwide, more than 20 million households live in multiple dwelling units, giving Verizon Avenue an enormous market niche to serve. Otterbeck said he expects Verizon to have over two million units under contract within the next five years.

Verizon announced plans to acquire OnePoint on Aug. 7. The Department of Justice gave its approval Sept. 15. The Federal Communications Commission approved the purchase Dec. 8. Final papers for the acquisition were signed Dec. 15.

Verizon Avenue will be headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., with operations based in Herndon, Va. The unit has approximately 600 employees nationwide.

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 26 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, www.verizon.com.