Verizon Expands Capacity of Switching Center To Better Serve Providence Customers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Verizon customers here will receive improved, more reliable service as a result of a $1.1 million investment to upgrade and expand the capacity of equipment in the company's two telephone offices in Providence. The buildings house digital switches and state-of-the-art computers that route calls to their destinations and provide popular products ranging from voice mail to Caller ID.

The project, due to be completed by the end of July, also will provide more capacity for processing voice and data communications, meeting the rising demand for local and long-distance calling and Internet access. Surfing the Internet has changed the way customers use their telephones, increasing the average length of a call, which in turn requires more switching capacity.

Verizon serves about 165,000 phone lines from its Providence telephone offices.

"We recognize the growing importance of an advanced telecommunications network for Rhode Island businesses, schools, libraries and consumers," said Donna Cupelo, region president, Verizon Massachusetts/Rhode Island. "We're aggressively investing in our infrastructure while lowering prices for many of our services."

Last month, Verizon introduced Verizon Long Distance Service in Rhode Island and began offering simple, innovative long-distance plans to residence and business customers. Customer response has been excellent.

Last year, Verizon Rhode Island invested $74 million in its telecommunications network serving the state, including the addition of more than 14,000 miles of fiber-optic cable. The company has over 92,000 miles of fiber-optic cable its Vermont network overall -- enough to circle the earth more than twice. Fiber-optic systems use laser-generated light pulses and digital technology to provide greater capacity, higher transmission speeds and better quality for voice, video and data transmitted over the network.

"From upgrading local switching centers to providing long-distance service, Verizon is helping consumers and businesses make progress every day, " said Cupelo.

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 132.1 million access line equivalents and 29.4 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 247,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.