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

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - Verizon Communications is investing some $630,000 to expand and upgrade its telecommunications network in Berkshire County. This represents one of the company's largest current capital commitments in New England.

The Berkshire investment includes the installation of nearly13 miles of
fiber-optic cable in greater Pittsfield and over 10 miles of fiber-optic cable in the Williamstown area.

Both projects 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 Berkshires is undertaken because Verizon recognizes the dynamic character of this region of the state," said Robert Mudge, president of Verizon-Massachusetts. "We are keenly aware that in all of Massachusetts no county surpasses this one in its demand for telecommunications service."

Verizon anticipates that the current Berkshire projects will be completed by early next summer.

Mudge said Bell Atlantic has made major strides in deploying advanced technology in its network:

  • Investment in the company's Massachusetts network totals $3.3 billion since 1995 including $800 million this year.
  • Miles of fiber-optic cable in the commonwealth increased by 85 percent from 325,000 in 1995 to more than 600,000 in 1999.
  • All 274 call-routing centers throughout the state use the latest digital technology systems.
  • Verizon's DSL service was launched in Massachusetts in April 1999. DSL 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. Today, more than 1.2 million households and more than 2.5 million phone lines in Massachusetts are able to get Verizon Online DSL.

"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

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 .