Verizon Deploys Fiber Optics, Electronics, Bringing Additional Advanced Technology, Services To Central Blair County

ALTOONA, Pa. - Verizon Communications has invested $390,000 to expand and modernize its local telecommunications network in Blair County.

Verizon has installed about ten miles of fiber-optic cable and electronic equipment between the company's Altoona and Hollidaysburg switching centers. This advanced equipment will provide increased high-speed capacity for business customers and shopping areas and will enable future growth of residential services. The fiber-optic cable also enables rerouting of telecommunications between the two switching centers in the event of a disruption in service.

The aerial and underground cables contain a total of 2,200 fiber miles, or the total distance if all of the fibers in the cable were placed end to end. It's one of the largest fiber-optic installations in Blair County 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 continue to upgrade our infrastructure 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 Verizon Pennsylvania's (formerly Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania) network will reach nearly $1 billion this year, totaling about $3 billion in the past three years.
  • Fiber miles in the Verizon Pennsylvania network increased from 911,308 in 1999 to 997,442 in 2000.
  • Verizon Pennsylvania fulfilled its commitment to the state Public Utility Commission to convert all of its 218 switching offices to digital technology by the end of last year.

"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

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 125 million access line equivalents and approximately 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with about 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual 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.