BOSTON - Verizon Communications invested some $800 million in its Massachusetts telecommunications infrastructure during 2001, ensuring that the state's residents and businesses continue to benefit from the best communications systems in the world.
The company also marked a major milestone when it won federal approval to offer long-distance service to Massachusetts residents and businesses. In seven months, more than 500,000 Bay Staters have signed up for Verizon's simple, straightforward long-distance plans.
"We are justifiably proud of the critical role Verizon played this year in assuring that Massachusetts continues to have one of the nation's most advanced telecommunications networks," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. "Our investment in infrastructure will help our state, its businesses, schools and consumers to thrive in this information-dependent age."
She noted that the investments were used primarily to add capacity for voice and data traffic in the company's local call-routing centers, for additional fiber-optic facilities and for the introduction of new high-speed technologies for consumers and businesses. All 272 of Verizon's call-routing centers throughout the state already use the latest digital technology systems.
"We're making major investments to bring all types of broadband capacity to Massachusetts," said Cupelo. "We're also working to create a national policy that will encourage even more broadband investment."
Verizon added more than 70,000 miles of fiber-optic cables in Massachusetts, bringing the state's overall fiber-optic network to more than 770,000 miles -- or enough to circle the Earth more than 33 times. Fiber-optic systems use laser-generated light pulses and digital technology to provide greater capacity, diversity of routing, higher transmission speeds and better quality for voice, video and data transmitted over the network.
In May, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the company's application to provide long-distance service in Massachusetts. The FCC is currently considering the company's application for Rhode Island. Verizon expects to file for long-distance approval in early 2002 for Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Verizon is now the nation's fourth-largest long-distance company with more than seven million subscribers.
During 2001, Verizon also began offering Massachusetts consumers the convenience of having charges for all their Verizon services -- local, long-distance and cellular -- on a single monthly bill.
- Introduced Dense Wave Division Multiplexing, which provides the capacity to transmit 16 times more data over a single pair of fiber-optic facilities. Verizon is using this technology between several of its busiest switching centers, as well as in custom-built networks for its largest customers.
- Expanded availability of Verizon Online DSL (digital subscriber line), the company's high-speed Internet access service, to 194 communities in the state. DSL is now available on nearly 2.4 million phone lines, more than half the lines Verizon serves in Massachusetts. DSL provides a dedicated connection to the Internet with no dialing, no busy signals and no waiting.
- Continued its streak of meeting or exceeding the state's stringent service measurements to 75 consecutive months.
- Provided schools and other charitable organizations throughout Massachusetts with nearly $4.3 million in philanthropic grants and matching contributions from Verizon Foundation.
- Maintained its status as the largest private employer in the Bay State with about 18,000 employees.
Other milestones for the company in Massachusetts during 2001:
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 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, 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.