Verizon Invests About $900 Million In Virginia Telecom Network in 2001

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia consumers and businesses benefit from one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in the country as Verizon continued its aggressive investment program in the state during 2001.

This past year, the company spent close to $900 million - nearly $2.5 million a day - to modernize, expand and upgrade the sophisticated telecommunications network that serves Virginians.

"With a substantial annual investment in Virginia, Verizon continues to build a telecommunications infrastructure that is second to none," said Robert Woltz, president of Verizon Virginia. "Telecommunications is critical to Virginia's economic success, and we're proud to serve the communications needs of businesses and consumers throughout the commonwealth."

Verizon's capital investment in 2001 was used primarily to expand the company's fiber-optic and other cable facilities, as well as to increase the capacity and reliability of several of the company's call-routing centers.

Nationwide, Verizon invests more than $11 billion annually in its wireline telecommunications network, which is one of the most advanced in the world and features an industry-leading 8.3 million miles of fiber-optic facilities.

In Virginia last year, Verizon added more than 50,000 miles of fiber optics to its network. The company has more than 855,000 miles of optical fiber in the state. Fiber-optic systems use laser-generated light pulses and digital technology to provide greater capacity, higher transmission speeds and better quality for voice, video and data transmitted over the network.

Long-Distance Filing Planned in Early 2002

Verizon has opened its network and systems in Virginia to competition by investing in advanced computer systems and providing space for competitors' equipment in Verizon's switching centers throughout the state.

Nearly 200 companies have been approved to provide local phone service in the state. Verizon is required to open local markets before it can gain federal approval to sell long distance in a given state.

Early this year, Verizon plans to ask the Virginia State Corporation Commission to support the company's application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for approval to offer long distance.

Since December 1999, Verizon has won FCC approval to offer long-distance service in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The results are added choice and significant savings for customers in those states, where millions are getting lower prices and clear, surprise-free, long-distance calling plans from Verizon.

"We're eager to bring the same benefits to consumers and businesses in Virginia," Woltz said.

Verizon Gives Back to Communities

Verizon Virginia and Verizon Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, provided more than $2 million in grants to nonprofit programs throughout Virginia in 2001. In addition to the company's financial support, Verizon employees volunteered thousands of hours to community organizations.

"Verizon and its active and retired employees have a long tradition of giving in this state," Woltz said. "We're involved in the communities we serve, and we pride ourselves in being good neighbors. Our commitment to service is a vital part of the Verizon promise."

    During 2001, Verizon also:

  • Expanded the reach of Verizon Online DSL (digital subscriber line) in Virginia. The high-speed Internet access service now is available to more than two million access lines, about half of Verizon's total lines in the state.

  • Introduced several new services, including Call Intercept. Call Intercept screens customers' incoming calls when callers fail to identify themselves and allow users to decide if they want to receive calls from others who do announce themselves.

  • Continued building self-healing, "SONET" (synchronous optical network) rings throughout the state to assure continuous service even in the event a communications cable is damaged or destroyed. SONET rings automatically reroute telecommunications traffic in the other direction so that service is not affected.

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.