GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - Verizon Communications is installing air-pressure technology in Nassau and Suffolk counties as part of a continuing project to upgrade the reliability of its Island-wide telecommunications infrastructure. The four-year project, a $140-million investment, began in 1999 and will continue into 2002.
''An air-pressurization system is a proven method of maintaining peak performance for a telecommunications network,'' said Lee Brathwaite, president of Verizon's Island Metro Region. ''This program will help us detect potential problems and resolve them before our customers are affected. We have a first-class network on Long Island, and we are committed to making it even better.''
Overall, the company spent approximately $345 million on its Long Island network in 2000, including the first phase of the air-pressurization project.
As part of the pressurization program, the company has already placed more than 347 miles of air pressure pipe, with 500 miles still to be installed. Compressed air is then forced through the adjacent Verizon cables via manifolds, to prevent water from seeping into the cables and causing outages. This form of protective maintenance is especially important in the underground manhole and conduit systems on the Island's south shore, which may be prone to flooding.
In addition to the air pipe placed in manholes and elsewhere, additional equipment is being installed in the company's central office buildings to compress the air and send it out through the cables. Verizon has installed the technology in all 22 of its central offices in Nassau County and will have air-pressure capability in 20 central offices in Suffolk County by year's end. Equipment will be installed in the final eight Suffolk County offices in 2002.
In addition, engineering innovations in central office equipment have enabled Verizon to greatly improve the efficiency of the compressor dehydrators that provide the dry air to the air-pipe system.
The project is the latest evidence that Verizon is meeting its commitment to deliver a high quality telecommunications network throughout Long Island. As a result of the company's vigorous deployment of air-pressurization systems, cable performance has improved significantly. The pressurization program began on Long Island in 1999.
Brathwaite said Verizon has made major strides in deploying advanced technology in its New York network:
- Annual spending on Verizon's New York network topped $2 billion in 2000. The company's investments since 1995 now total more than $10.2 billion.
- Miles of fiber-optic cable in New York state increased to approximately 1.2 million in 2000, up from about 715,000 in 1995.
- All 589 call-routing centers throughout the state use the latest digital technology systems.
- Verizon Online DSL (digital subscriber line) service was launched in New York in the summer of 1999. DSL is a high-speed connection to the Internet that enables users to connect to cyberspace at speeds significantly faster than today's fastest analog modems. Today, Verizon has more than 720,000 DSL lines in service nationwide.
''Verizon is keeping its commitment to New York,'' Brathwaite said. ''We are building and enhancing a public telecommunications network that is the finest in the world and is a vital part of the Empire State's economic infrastructure.''
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 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