Verizon Contributes $50,000 To Buffalo Niagara Enterprise

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Verizon Communications has made a $50,000 contribution to help the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) attract additional business investment to Western New York.

"Like most companies that have a major investment in Western New York, Verizon believes the economic success of the region is important to the growth and vitality of our own business," said Paul A. Crotty, president for Verizon in New York and Connecticut. "Our contribution to the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise underscores our continuing commitment to the communities we serve in this important region."

The Verizon contribution to the BNE will help fund the organization's economic development activities, including a marketing campaign targeted at corporate CEOs, CFOs and site selectors to convince them to expand or relocate in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area. The mission of the BNE is to be the driving force in marketing the Buffalo/Niagara region by establishing the community as a world-recognized place for business expansion, capital investment and quality jobs.

Verizon itself has played a significant role in economic growth in the area, by investing $1.6 billion in its Western New York network and employing more than 2,000 area residents. And, in recent years, Verizon has made major improvements in its Western New York operations, including:

    * Deployment of more than 160,000 miles of fiber optics;

    * Conversion of all 79 network switching centers in the region to digital systems;

    * Installation of redundant fiber-optic rings in all major commercial and residential markets in the region to enhance and protect service to customers;

    * Deployment of high-speed networks, ATM (asynchronous transfer mode), DSL (digital subscriber line) and Internet services for both business and residential customers;

    * Deployment of enhanced features and services to business and residential customers;

    * Expansion of its consumer marketing centers in the Buffalo area, and

    * Deployment of fiber optics to all major commercial/industrial buildings and other sites in the region.

In 1999, Verizon spent more than $100 million to upgrade its network in the region and the company expects to spend another $100 million in the area again this year.

The Buffalo Niagara Enterprise is a private/public regional marketing initiative providing business attraction and information services to businesses seeking to expand or relocate in Western New York or Southern Ontario. As the economic development marketing organization for the region, the BNE seeks to provide a 24-hour response to inquiries regarding everything from site and workforce availability, to tax incentives and permitting processes, to cultural and quality of life issues.

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, visit www.verizon.com.