Verizon Invests $2 Million To Better Serve Northampton County, Pa. Customers

NORTHAMPTON, Pa. -- Verizon customers in Northampton Borough, Northampton County soon will have improved communications as the result of a $2 million investment the company is making in its local call-switching center.

Verizon is installing new switching equipment, power systems and heating and air conditioning equipment at its Northampton facility to increase the reliability and capacity of the Verizon network. This equipment supports high-speed, high-capacity services for consumers and businesses and DSL (digital subscriber line) high-speed Internet service, and will accommodate future growth. The power equipment keeps the Verizon telecommunications network running in the event of a commercial power outage and allows Verizon technicians to more efficiently monitor and diagnose network power problems.

To accommodate the new equipment, Verizon is expanding its Northampton call-switching center. This expansion will for the first time allow competing telephone companies to place, or collocate, their equipment in Verizon's Northampton center and connect it to the Verizon network. Currently, competitors' equipment is located elsewhere and is connected to Verizon's network remotely through so-called "virtual collocation" arrangements.

The company plans to complete the Northampton project by the end of March.

In addition, Verizon continues to install fiber-optic cable throughout the commonwealth. Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin glass fibers and digital technology to deliver high-quality telephone service along with sophisticated data communications 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 Northampton project underlines Verizon's commitment to build and maintain a state-of-the-art telecommunications network throughout Pennsylvania," said James V. O'Rourke, 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 has invested approximately $2.5 billion in its telecommunications network across 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," O'Rourke said.

"The level of telecom competition in Pennsylvania today is unprecedented," said O'Rourke. "Competition and Verizon's entry into the long-distance market has benefited consumers, who today can choose from many providers for all their communications needs."

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 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to 33 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.