Verizon Deploys Digital Switch, Bringing Additional Advanced Technology, Services to Chester Area

CHESTER, Pa. - Verizon Communications has installed a new digital switch, a state-of-the-art computer that routes calls to their destinations, in its Chester telephone office in Delaware County as part of a $5 million project to upgrade the local telephone network and provide additional broadband capability to its customers.

The new digital switch, which replaced older analog technology, provides faster, more reliable telephone service to the 33,000 phone lines served by the Chester office. Installation of the new equipment furthers Verizon's commitment to have 100 percent digital switching in Pennsylvania by the end of this year.

"This project is the latest evidence that Verizon is meeting its commitment to deliver a state-of-the-art telecommunications network throughout Pennsylvania," said Daniel J. Whelan, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "We are accelerating our construction schedules to provide rural and urban customers with high-speed access to the Internet, work-at-home capabilities, as well as a host of other innovative advanced services."

Whelan said Verizon has made major strides in deploying advanced technology in its network:

  • Investment in the Pennsylvania network totaled nearly $2 billion in 1998 and 1999.
  • Miles of fiber-optic cable in the commonwealth increased by 92 percent from 474,450 in 1995 to more than 911,000 in 1999.
  • Percentage of digital call-routing switches in the former Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania network will be 100 percent by the end of the year 2000, having grown from 90.3 percent in 1995 to 98.5 percent in 1999.
  • The company's Infospeedsm DSL was launched in Pennsylvania in October 1998. Infospeed DSL is a high-speed connection to the Internet that enables users to connect to cyberspace at speeds up to 100 times faster than today's fastest analog modems.

"Verizon is keeping its promises to Pennsylvania," Whelan said. "We are building and enhancing a public telecommunications network in Pennsylvania that is the finest in the world and is a vital part of the commonwealth's economic infrastructure."

In addition to deploying the latest technology, Verizon has spent tens of millions of dollars to open Pennsylvania's local telephone market to competition.

"We have irreversibly opened our markets to competition," Whelan said. "We can't force the long distance giants or anyone else to compete here, but anyone who genuinely wants to enter our markets can do so."

Verizon Communications (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 100 million access lines and 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.