Verizon Now Offers Popular Calling Services To All Former GTE Customers in Pennsylvania

ERIE, Pa. - More than 700,000 Verizon customers in 28 counties in the former GTE service area in Pennsylvania now can choose from an array of popular calling features as a result of the company's completion of a $13 million modernization project.

This major investment by Verizon in its network infrastructure fulfills a commitment made in Pennsylvania by GTE and Bell Atlantic in connection with their June 2000 merger to form Verizon. The company completed the project six months ahead of its original Dec. 31 commitment date. It is part of a three-year, $210 million investment by Verizon in its Pennsylvania telecommunications infrastructure in the former GTE service area.

"These calling features allow customers to tailor their communications services to fit their particular lifestyle," said Daniel J. Whelan, president and CEO of Verizon Pennsylvania. "The features are in great demand, and they are now available to all our customers throughout Pennsylvania."

Caller ID, Call Waiting, Three-Way Calling, Call Forwarding, Busy Redial and Call Block are among the services available to customers.

One popular feature, Caller ID, indicates when friends or family members are calling and can deter harassing calls. With Caller ID, a customer can see both the name and telephone number of who's calling on a display unit that is built in or attached to the phone. The customer can decide whether or not to answer the phone.

All services have monthly or one-time usage charges. For more information or to order the services, residential customers and small- or medium-sized businesses can visit www.verizon.com. Residential customers also can contact Verizon's customer service at 1-800-483-4000; business customers should call 1-800-483-5000.

"Verizon customers continue to see tangible results from our promise to bring them the best telecommunications network available in Pennsylvania," said Whelan. "We will continue to expand the availability of the latest technology and services to our urban and rural customers."

Under the project, Verizon replaced and removed obsolete equipment and updated software in all 119 of its call-switching central offices in the former GTE service area in the state, including offices in Erie, Franklin, Oil City, Johnstown, Somerset and York. Verizon converted its final central office, Spring Grove, near York, in early June.

Completion of this network investment project is the latest benefit Verizon customers have enjoyed since the merger's completion two years ago. Since then, Verizon has introduced two new options for limited-income households, eliminated the monthly Touch-Calling charge paid by former GTE customers in Pennsylvania and capped residential rates for basic local service through 2003.

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 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 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.