Verizon Offers Most Dynamic Communications Tools for Fastest-Growing Business Segment

WASHINGTON - Representatives of America's fastest-growing business sector can sample some of the most dynamic tools for managing their communications at demonstrations hosted by Verizon at the SBA 2005 Expo here this week. At the event, Thursday (4/28), at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Verizon will offer live demonstrations of its iobi Professional product and business-grade DSL service.

Typical small-business owners are challenged with balancing communications between suppliers, customers and employees. When the business involves multiple locations or a variety of products, channels and customer types, the challenge grows exponentially. The ability to maintain appropriate accessibility can mean a competitive advantage.

The Internet is also playing a prominent role in the transformation of the small-business market. Business owners no longer limit Internet access to e-mail and occasional research. Now, it is an invaluable tool to leverage resources among e-commerce applications for dealing with suppliers and customers; to centralize operations among multiple locations; and for banking and other operational activities.

"In addition to a robust portfolio of traditional telephony services, Verizon delivers the latest technology in broadband and Internet products and services to the small-business segment," said Eric Reed, director for market issues and policy for Verizon. "Verizon iobi Professional and Business DSL are just the latest in a series of advanced broadband services that are readily available and affordable to small and medium outfits."

For business customers seeking the convenience and productivity advantages of voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) technology, iobi Professional leverages the best of the Internet and the telephone network. It offers small businesses unprecedented control over all of their communications services, both for individuals and entire work groups, while using regular phone lines - thus avoiding the need for costly upgrades. Iobi Professional combines unique VoIP-like call-management features, voice mail, e-mail and other critical communications services on a common platform accessible via PCs, the Web or a voice portal.

Iobi Professional is perfect for small-business owners who are mobile, may have more than one office location and need to stay in constant touch with their main office. Iobi Professional also allows business owners to maintain control of their communications so that they can be reached via the appropriate telecommunications device, based on their activities.

At a cost of under $12 per month per line for the service, even the smallest companies can reap the benefits of advanced telecommunications without an investment in new hardware. Iobi Professional is scheduled to be launched in the Washington Metro area later this year.

As more and more businesses become dependent on high-speed access broadband access as an essential tool, Verizon has responded with a variety of broadband options for small business.

"Providing small businesses with innovative broadband solutions will allow them to exercise greater access, control and functionality over features that are unique to their specific management and operations," said Reed. "Verizon is committed to providing the best telecommunications solutions that meet the needs of all small-business interests. That is why we have so many business-grade broadband options starting with the entry-level Business DSL product suite."

Verizon's business customers can choose from a variety of DSL speeds and services tailored specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. With one-year contracts required, Business DSL packages start at $39.95 per month for maximum connection speed of up to 1.5 Mbps/384Kpbs. Businesses can choose from a range of packages that can provide Internet access at maximum connection speeds up to 7.1 Mbps, where available. The business packages include all the tools needed for business-grade access to the Web, including round-the-clock business-grade technical support, and 30-day money-back guarantee. Additional options on premium packages include domain name e-mail boxes. (username@yourcompany.com), 20 MB of Web space, and unlimited remote dial-up service for employees on the go.

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 210,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.