Verizon Gift Helps D.C. Habitat for Humanity Narrow Digital Divide

WASHINGTON - Eight homes in the District of Columbia will be the first Habitat for Humanity houses in the country with the capability for high-speed home networking thanks to a donation from Verizon Connected Solutions, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.

''This generous gift from Verizon will allow D.C. Habitat for Humanity to build homes with cutting-edge technology that will enable our families to have access to online information resources and the latest technologies,'' said Carol Casperson, executive director of D.C. Habitat for Humanity.

A system called Verizon Ready enables residents to access and share voice, data, video, entertainment and Internet services in any room in a house. Verizon Connected Solutions will provide the Verizon Ready Residential Gateway, the advanced wiring and the labor to install the system in the eight homes D.C. Habitat for Humanity will build this year.

The eight homes are the first in a 53-home development to be built over the next five years by D.C. Habitat for Humanity in the Capitol View neighborhood of Northeast Washington. Groundbreaking for the project is Aug. 6.

''We are committed to supporting initiatives that bridge the digital divide by enriching communities through technology,'' said Bob Burich, president of Verizon Connected Solutions. ''Our gift will ensure that Habitat families have the same access to technology and information that have become essential in the 21st century.''

The Verizon Ready system integrates a flexible and expandable home network device or hub with advanced communications wiring and cables. The hub is the central connection for distributing services within a home, such as networking computers to share fax lines, dial-up or broadband Internet access, printers and other devices.

The system's high-speed cables are connected to multi-port, multimedia outlets that can handle broadband video and high-speed data.

Most importantly, as the needs of the family changes, the Verizon Ready system's modular configuration allows the homeowner to easily rearrange the distribution of services from room to room or within rooms.

For 25 years, Habitat for Humanity International has worked with millions of volunteers and supporters in a campaign to bring the joy and economic benefits of home ownership and to eliminate poverty housing worldwide. D.C. Habitat for Humanity, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, has built more than 60 homes and rehabilitated dozens more in the District of Columbia since 1988. D.C. Habitat provides no-profit, no-interest loans that provide D.C. residents with the opportunities to achieve the dream of homeownership. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses.

The signature event of this 25th anniversary year is the inaugural World Leaders Build. At the personal invitation of former President Jimmy Carter, heads of state and heads of government from nearly 25 nations will build Habitat houses in 45 countries worldwide the week of Aug. 5-11. Through the World Leaders Build, 1,020 houses will be built by thousands of volunteers working in partnership with people in need. President Carter will lead the event in South Korea, where he will build Habitat houses with South Korean President Kim Dae-jung. Washington, D.C. has been chosen as the World Leaders Build site for the United States.


About D.C. Habitat for Humanity

The D.C. affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. is a nonprofit, tax exempt organization that builds simple, decent houses in partnership with those in need. Since 1988, D.C. Habitat for Humanity has built 61 safe, affordable houses in the District, and rehabilitated dozens more. D.C. Habitat for Humanity sells homes to families who are ineligible for conventional financing by offering no-profit, no-interest, 20 to 30 year mortgages. Mortgage payments on completed homes are reinvested in a revolving Fund for Humanity to finance further construction and the acquisition of additional properties and building materials. More information about D.C. Habitat for Humanity can be found online at www.dchabitat.org or by calling (202) 610-2355.

About Verizon Connected Solutions Inc.

Verizon Connected Solutions Inc. is a subsidiary of Verizon Communications that offers the Verizon Ready system. It specializes in the design and installation of premises-based communications products and services for voice, data, video, audio and interactive multi-media applications for consumers and businesses. The unit is based in Beltsville, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C., and is an ISO 9001 registered company. For more information, visit the Verizon Connected Solutions Web site at www.verizoncsi.com or call 1-888-947-3782 (1-888-WIRE-SVC).

About Verizon Communications

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 125 million access line equivalents and approximately 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately $65 billion in annual revenues and about 260,000 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


Media Contacts:

Jack H. Campbell, Verizon Connected Solutions


Jack Campbell

Ellsworth Edwards, Verizon

Ells Edwards

Melissa Smith, D.C. Habitat for Humanity


Melissa Smith