Verizon Heralds New Era of Communications Competition in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- Large businesses, including the nation's broadcasting and entertainment industries served out of Hollywood, government agencies and education institutions in the greater Los Angeles area are about to enjoy increased communications choice.

Verizon has completed expansion of the company's existing network beyond its traditional geographic service area to provide communications services to enterprise customers, competing directly against SBC Pacific Bell. This type of facilities-based competition brings the promise of more choice, greater access to a broader array of products and services and improved service levels.

"The network Verizon has just completed in Los Angeles means we can meet local demand for more choice and provide customers with connectivity for their offices throughout Los Angeles, California and across the United States -- all from a single company," said Eduardo R. Menascé, president, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group. "The business community in Los Angeles now has new communications options from a new nationwide provider who can give them end-to-end accountability

To expand its presence into areas of Los Angeles with high concentrations of enterprise customers, Verizon spent $7 million over the past two years to extend its network by constructing three fiber-optic backbone rings. Using fully secure and redundant links to the company's core network, Verizon now has the ability to carry customer traffic over a communications infrastructure that is owned, operated and maintained by Verizon. The need to hand-off customer traffic to another service provider is eliminated, resulting in greater ease of customer management and better service levels.

The network consists of over 350 miles of fiber-optic cable, reaching an estimated 65 percent of the potential enterprise customer base in greater Los Angeles, including significant portions of Century City, El Segundo, Hollywood and West Los Angeles. These areas contain many companies in the broadcasting, entertainment, finance and manufacturing industries.

To meet the unique requirements of the entertainment and broadcasting industries in the Los Angeles area, Verizon has installed two large-capacity video switches that offer connectivity over the Verizon network throughout the region and to major entertainment and broadcasting centers in the United States. Broadcasters and film and production companies have specialized needs for the distribution of both edited and unedited materials to centers beyond Los Angeles.

VideoConnectSM, the fully digital video transport service offered by Verizon, provides a comprehensive selection of broadcast-quality video transport services that can meet the distribution requirements of these industries. VideoConnect offers customers a cost-effective and convenient alternative to traditional wireline- and microwave-based transport services.

In addition to VideoConnect, Verizon initially will offer dedicated high-speed, high-capacity data transport services such as synchronous optical network (SONET) and dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) over the company's new network in Los Angeles. Additional services will include frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), as well as both long-distance calling and data services and managed network solutions. Verizon will also offer its full suite of Internet protocol (IP)-based data transport and security services. As customer demand and market conditions dictate, Verizon may introduce local switch-based voice services, completing the company's suite of communications products and services.

The greater Los Angeles area is home to nearly a one-third of Fortune 1000 corporations, as well as more than 500 subsidiary headquarters. In addition, there are more than 32,000 additional potential customer sites, consisting of remote office locations, government agencies and education institutions. Annual expenditures on communications products and services are estimated at nearly $2.0 billion. To support the company's push into areas outside its traditional geographic service area, Verizon has a dedicated account team to assist new customers in migrating service onto the company's network.

"The Los Angeles business community has been anticipating competition for a long time," said Rohit Shukla, president and chief executive officer, Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance (LARTA). "This type of facilities-based competition was envisioned by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and many new entrants came and went with the tech boom and bust. Now our businesses have more communications choice from a national provider capable of meeting their requirements in Los Angeles and across the United States."

The ability of Verizon to expand its existing network infrastructure is a direct result of the increased scope and scale derived from the June 2000 merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE. Market expansion opportunities were identified by analyzing how Verizon could make best use existing network facilities, operations and customer relationships. Three initial markets were identified -- Dallas, Seattle and Los Angeles. Last July, Verizon announced that the company would compete with SBC in Dallas and in December announced similar competitive services against Qwest in Seattle.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group manages the design, operation and maintenance of end-to-end total network integrated solutions for large business and government customers across the United States. With over 14,500 employees in 46 states, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group offers a complete range of basic and advanced communications products and services to meet the voice, video, data and IP-related needs of its customers. For more information on products and services available through Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group, visit www.verizon.com/enterprisesolutions.

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 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 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.