Verizon Deploys Fiber Optics, Electronics, Bringing Additional Voice and Data Capacity to Franklin County

SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. -- Verizon Communications is investing nearly $400,000 to expand and upgrade its telecommunications network in Franklin County.

The investment includes the installation of more than 10 miles of fiber-optic cable from Shelburne Falls, through Buckland, to Ashland.

The project, which will be completed by the end of 2001, will provide additional capacity, reliability and survivability in the Verizon network. Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin glass strands and digital technology to deliver high quality telephone services along with high-capacity/high-speed voice and data services.

"This commitment to bolster and upgrade the network that serves our business and residential customers in the Franklin County demonstrates that Verizon recognizes the dynamic character of this area," said Robert Mudge, president of Verizon Massachusetts. "We are keenly aware that throughout Massachusetts every county is experiencing unprecedented demand for telecommunications services."

Nationwide, Verizon invests more than $12 billion annually in its telecommunications network, which is one of the most advanced in the world and features an industry-leading 8.3 million miles of fiber-optic systems.

In Massachusetts, Mudge said this commitment to advanced technology includes:

  • More than $4 billion in network investment since 1995 including $800 million this year.

  • An 85 percent increase in miles of fiber-optic cable from 325,000 miles in 1995 to more than 600,000 in 1999.
  • The latest digital technology systems in all 274 call-routing centers throughout the state.

  • Availability of Verizon's DSL (digital subscriber line) service to more than 1.2 million households and more than 2.5 million phone lines statewide. DSL, which was launched in Massachusetts in April 1999, is a high-speed connection to the Internet that enables users to connect to cyberspace at speeds much faster than today's fastest analog modems.

"We are proud of our critical role in assuring that Massachusetts continues to have one of the nation's most advanced telecommunications networks," said Mudge. "This infrastructure will help our state, its businesses, schools and consumers to succeed in the new Millennium."

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.