MYRTLE POINT, Oregon - Verizon Communications has installed a new digital switch in Myrtle Point as part of a $1.2 million project to upgrade the local telephone network and provide advanced, optional services to customers.
The new switch, which will be activated April 28, is a state-of-the-art computer that routes calls, data transmissions and faxes to their destinations. It replaces an older generation of digital technology. The switch will provide faster, more reliable telephone service and greater capacity to the 2,500 customer lines in Myrtle Point's 572 prefix.
"This newer generation of digital technology will improve the quality of service for our Myrtle Point customers and strengthen the area's potential for economic growth," said Steve Smith, Verizon local manager based in Coos Bay. "Better yet, despite our significant investment in the new system, basic customer rates will not change."
To minimize disruption of service to customers, the cutover to the new system will occur about 10 minutes after midnight, when telephone usage is minimal. Thanks to months of preparation by Verizon technicians, the actual cutover should take only minutes to complete.
The new system will enable Verizon to offer Caller ID and other advanced calling features in Myrtle Point starting May 15. These optional calling features will offer convenience, security and control to consumers and businesses. Among the new services to be offered are:
Caller ID: Allows customers to see the name and number of the person calling before the phone is answered, using a display unit that is attached to or built into the phone. Caller ID can be an effective deterrent to harassing calls and provides customers with control over which calls they answer. Caller ID Name and Number costs $6.50 per month residence, $8 per month business. (Customers needing privacy will have options to prevent their number from appearing on Caller ID devices. The options are free of charge.)
Anonymous Call Block: Any caller who has blocked his or her number from appearing on a Caller ID box will hear a message saying that the called party will not accept calls from people who prevent display of their phone number. Callers will be told they need to unblock their number to complete the call. Anonymous Call Block costs 25 cents per month residence and business.
Automatic Call Return: This feature enables callers to automatically dial the number of the last call they received, whether or not it was answered, by entering *69. Automatic Call Return is available for $2.95 per month (residence or business) or for 75 cents on a per-use basis.
Call Block: This security feature blocks calls from up to 12 numbers chosen by the customer. The caller hears a recorded message when the call is not completed. Call Block is $3 per month residence or business.
Call Tracing: This feature allows the customer to trace the last local incoming call they received by dialing *57. Call Tracing is useful if customers are receiving obscene or harassing calls. The number is made available only to law enforcement officials. The only cost is $1 for each successful trace.
Distinctive Ring: This feature provides a customer with two separate phone numbers on the same line. Calls to each number have a different ring, enabling the customer to know whose number is being called. For example, families can use Distinctive Ring to determine whether a call is for the parents or for the children. Distinctive Ring is $3 per month residence or business.
These and other advanced calling services will be available individually or at package discount rates starting May 15. All services may not be available to every customer. For more information, call the Coos Bay PhoneMart at 1-800-483-6697, Verizon customer service (1-800-483-4000 residence, 1-800-483-5000 business) or your Verizon account manager.
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 nearly 109 million access line equivalents and more than 27.5 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the world's largest provider of print and online directory information. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $63 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.