Verizon Invests $347,000 to Better Serve Florida Customers

WIMAUMA, Fla. - Verizon customers in Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties now have improved communications as the result of a $347,000 investment the company has made to upgrade its telecommunications network connecting the towns of Wimauma and Parrish.

Verizon installed additional fiber-optic cable and associated electronic equipment to increase the network's capacity and reliability. This cable provides faster and more reliable connections for local, toll and long-distance calling. Fiber-optic cable is more resistant to weather and other damage, is generally easier to repair, and service restoral is quicker in the event of a disruption.

The underground cable contains more than 1,189 fiber miles, the total distance if all the fibers in the cable were placed end-to-end. Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin glass fibers and digital technology to deliver high-quality telephone service and sophisticated data communications services.

This project is not related to Verizon's plan to deploy fiber-optic cable to homes in businesses in other areas of Florida, which was recently announced by the company.

"Verizon has not only maintained the public telecommunications network - we have modernized it to meet the needs of our customers" said Alan Ciamporcero, president of Verizon's Southeast Region, which includes Florida. "Now we face the challenge of upgrading our network so that it can deliver new cutting-edge applications that will make Florida a leader in the 21st century, improve the economy, bring new jobs to the state, and improve the standard of living for everyone."

In addition to the Hillsborough-Manatee-Sarasota project, Verizon continues to install fiber-optic cable and other advanced telecommunications equipment in its six-county service territory in west central Florida. Verizon has deployed more than 225,000 fiber miles in Florida, enough to circle the earth more than nine times. The company has invested more than $1.5 billion in capital projects in Florida over the last five years.

Verizon has also spent millions of dollars to open Florida's local telephone market to competition.

"Verizon has a long history of investment in this state and service to our customers and communities," Ciamporcero said. "We will continue to play a vital role in Florida's future, just as we have for more than a century."

Verizon Communications

A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.