Verizon Invests $339 Million to Upgrade and Maintain Florida Network During 2001

TAMPA, Fla. - Verizon Communications has invested more than $339 million this year to modernize its telecommunications in Florida, improve customer service and further expand its high-speed offerings in the region, the company said today. Since 1996, the company has made over $1.8 billion in network improvements in the state.

"Our commitment to a strong, diversified telecommunications network in west central Florida continues," said John Ferrell, region president - operations, Verizon Florida. "When you couple this with our talented people and our dedication to service, the result is a standard that few companies consistently match."

(See related release, "Verizon Maintains Service Quality Leadership in Florida.")

The Verizon projects provided advanced technology, accommodated growth and improved service reliability by replacing and upgrading telecommunications facilities serving residential and business customers. Other projects extended the availability of high-speed data transmission services for businesses or added network technology to make DSL (digital subscriber line) high-speed Internet service more widely available in the region.

"Our capital commitment to the region in 2002 will continue to be strong and our investment will once again support economic development in the Tampa Bay region," said Ferrell.

    Verizon's network investment in 2001 included:

  • Over $50 million in expenditures for growth, network upgrades and the addition of advanced technology network switching equipment. This included the addition of an advanced technology access tandem used to interconnect voice and data traffic to Verizon's network nationwide and the latest telecommunications technology to accommodate the region's growth.

  • Some $27 million in new fiber-optic and broadband transport systems. This improved network traffic between Verizon's central offices, or wire centers, while eliminating potential bottlenecks along these routes.

  • Some $6 million for upgrading customer service from copper to fiber-optic facilities. As a result, trouble reports were reduced in this part of the network by 90 percent.

  • About $21 million in capital expenditures for the latest technology for customer broadband networks. These fulfilled requests from customers to strengthen Verizon's advanced data networks serving the competitive wholesale market as well as large businesses.

  • Some $2 million for high quality, large bandwidth video services. These services are used by television networks and local facilities (primarily sports venues) to transport and receive improved video.

  • Over $28.2 million for high-speed digital customer service facilities. This increased the capacity for data transmission in Verizon's service region.

  • Approximately $8 million to improve customer service by eliminating older facilities. Trouble reports were reduced by 85 percent in these areas.

Other network improvements were made to increase the overall reliability of service and to eliminate sources of troubles reported in the past.

Verizon's Florida network serves 2.4 million customer lines in a six-county area. The network covers over 5,879 square miles and features digital switching technology and 185,704 embedded fiber cable miles. It handles more than 73 million calls on a normal business day. Verizon averages nearly one million customer contacts per month in Florida, including orders for new service, repair requests and billing inquiries.

Nationally, Verizon invests more than $12 billion annually in its telecommunications network, which is one of the most advanced in the world and features an industry-leading 8.3 million miles of fiber-optic systems. The company's network handles more than 1.5 billion calls on an average business day.

Verizon Communications

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.