Verizon Installing Digital Equipment To Better Serve Customers in Uniontown, Pa.

UNIONTOWN, Pa. -- Verizon customers in the Uniontown area soon will have improved, more reliable phone service as the result of a $300,000 investment the company is making to upgrade and expand the capacity of its telecommunications network.

Verizon is installing new digital equipment in its Uniontown telephone switching office to provide improved high-speed/high-capacity services such as DS-1, DS-3 and SONET (synchronous optical network) connections to business customers in central Fayette County. These services allow businesses to transmit data at very high speeds. SONET rings also provide multiple routes for voice and high-speed data services and self-healing, automatically rerouting telecommunications transmissions in the event of a service disruption.

In addition, Verizon continues to install fiber-optic cable throughout Pennsylvania. Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin glass fibers and digital technology to deliver high-quality telephone service along with voice and sophisticated data transmission services. Verizon Pennsylvania ranks fourth among the nation's local telephone companies in fiber-optic cable installed in its network, according to reports compiled by the Federal Communications Commission.

"The Uniontown 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, suburban and urban customers with better quality service, as well as the platform for high-speed access to the Internet, work-at-home capabilities and a host of other innovative services."

Verizon is continuing to make a substantial investment in its Pennsylvania 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 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 last October is accelerating that competition. And consumers are the winners, because they are seeing 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 is the largest phone company in the United States and the nation's largest wireless company, 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.