KELLER, Texas - The most significant transformation in over a century in the technology used to carry phone calls, data and video to and from homes and businesses is under way in Keller, Texas, a fast-growing community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Verizon has begun installing in Keller a new technology known as fiber to the premises (FTTP), which uses fiber-optic cable and optical electronics to directly link homes and businesses to Verizon's network. The fiber-optic connections will replace traditional copper-wire links.
Although the use of fiber-optic technology is common throughout the telecom industry, Verizon is the first company to begin using it to directly connect homes and businesses to the network on a widespread scale.
"FTTP is moving from field trials and the lab to the real world, and it's happening in Keller first," Verizon Network Services Group President Paul Lacouture said at a news conference with city officials here today. "This technology will transform our network and the products we will be able to offer to consumers and businesses. Once deployed, for example, the slowest broadband connection we'll offer customers will be three times as fast as broadband speeds commonly available today. In short, we are building a new network that will make us the broadband leader in the 21st century."
Bob Ingalls, president of Verizon's Retail Marketing Group, said some of the new broadband access products will feature download speeds of 5 megabits per second, 15 megabits per second and 30 megabits per second. Verizon expects to begin marketing these products in Keller and elsewhere later this year. The new network will also support video applications and other new services.
"These services will be provided at a substantial value over anything that's in the market today - highly competitive pricing because we know that's what customers will expect," Ingalls said.
The company has begun preparatory work for similar FTTP deployments elsewhere in Texas and in several other states. Overall, Verizon plans to pass about 1 million homes in parts of nine states with this new technology by the end of the year.
Verizon also announced today that it will open in Dallas a new national technical support center for customers of products delivered over FTTP. Initially, the call center will create about 50 new jobs. Verizon will add staff as the company expands FTTP deployment.
Lacouture said the FTTP equipment has already been placed inside Verizon's local central switching office as well as on aerial cables, in underground conduits and buried in the ground throughout neighborhoods in Keller. The company has already placed more 440,000 feet of fiber-optic cabling in multiple Keller neighborhoods.
"Investment in our FTTP initiative here in North Texas speaks volumes about this area and what the technology can do for our customers," said Steve Banta, Verizon's Southwest Region president. "Verizon is committed to fiber and the services it makes available for our customers, and the time is ripe to offer fiber-based services. They are in demand, and the public policy climate in Texas encourages this type of investment. "
Texas State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller, said, "Texas policy-makers work hard to create a climate that invites corporations to invest in the state. Verizon's FTTP game plan that begins in North Texas is proof that Texas leaders are doing the right things to produce such investment. Not only is Verizon bringing new FTTP technology and its benefits here first, but they're also adding new, local jobs to serve customers."
Andy Milburn, Communications Workers of America District 6 vice president, said, "Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises initiative expands the company's broadband capabilities and will create more union jobs. Verizon is giving the CWA access to jobs of the future and the opportunity to be a vital part of a promising growth area. As Verizon grows, the union grows, and our partnership in Texas remains strong and vibrant."
Keller Mayor Julie Tandy said, "Keller sits at the forefront of the fiber frontier, and our citizens and businesses stand to benefit from an entirely new era of technology that will positively impact their quality of life. City pride runs high in Keller, and we are delighted to be deep in the heart of Verizon's FTTP plans in Texas."
Keller City Manager Lyle Dresher said, "Expanded access to the fastest broadband speeds and latest capabilities will not only enhance the way Keller residents and businesses communicate, but will also help spur economic development and growth in our city. We look forward to Verizon's offering of fiber-based services later this year, and the many new growth opportunities that will present."
Last year, Verizon selected vendors to supply the optical electronic equipment, fiber-optic cabling and other equipment required for FTTP. Later this year, the company will announce the additional FTTP deployment locations.
"In addition to new products this technology will make available for our customers, it will lead to operational cost-savings for Verizon. FTTP will allow us, for example, to see a problem on a line much faster than today, and then we can fix it quickly, often before the customer would even notice," Lacouture said.
"We have been putting fiber optics to work for our customers for years, but its use has been limited for the most part to our long-distance and inter-city networks, for connections between our switching offices in the local network, as well as for links to large businesses with heavy demand for the types of capacity fiber-optic systems offer," Lacouture said. "The program we're beginning here represents a natural extension of the over 10 million miles of fiber-optic cable we already have in place - we're extending the high capacity, speed and quality of fiber right into the consumer's home or into a smaller business. When the customer wants more capacity and higher speeds as well as video applications, we will be able to provide it instantly through the use of FTTP technology."
Lacouture stressed that Verizon's DSL service will continue to be the company's primary broadband Internet access product for the foreseeable future as the company ramps up FTTP deployment.
"We have just completed a record quarter for DSL sales - it's a fantastic product that meets the needs of most customers today," he said. "We are continuing to expand the availability of DSL, and we have announced an increase in the speeds that DSL can offer."
A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.