Verizon Expands Switching Center To Better Serve Orwigsburg Customers

ORWIGSBURG, Pa. -- Verizon Communications has invested more than $400,000 to modernize its local telecommunications network and provide more reliable telephone service to its customers in the Orwigsburg area of Schuylkill County.

Verizon has expanded the capacity of its digital switch, a state-of-the-art computer that routes calls to their destinations in the Orwigsburg area. This upgrade will accommodate future growth and increase the capacity and reliability of the Verizon network, helping to improve service quality for customers in the area. The company also has installed new electrical equipment in the building.

Verizon's Orwigsburg switching center serves about 5,000 phone lines. The project was completed earlier this month.

"This project underscores Verizon's commitment to build and maintain 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."

Verizon will continue to make a substantial investment in Pennsylvania's telecommunications network in 2002. The company has invested approximately $3 billion in the commonwealth over the last three years.

"We are building an advanced telecommunications network that will stimulate job and income growth and will make Pennsylvania one of the most attractive locations for corporations and individuals," Whelan said.

In addition to deploying the latest technology, Verizon recently launched an array of long-distance calling plans for Pennsylvania consumers and businesses. In September 2001, Verizon received federal approval to compete in Pennsylvania's long-distance market. The company now offers Pennsylvanians a complete range of telecommunications services, including local, regional and long-distance calling, data, high-speed Internet and wireless services.

"The level of telecom competition in Pennsylvania today is unprecedented," said Whelan. "Verizon's entry into the long-distance market is accelerating that competition. And consumers are the winners, because they will see real savings in their pockets, just as consumers in other states have benefited when full competition became a fact of life."

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. A Fortune 10 company 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.