Verizon Provides High-Speed IP/Data Network For BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts

BOSTON - Verizon Communications has developed and implemented a new high-capacity wide area data network (WAN) with IP-based secure remote access for BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) of Massachusetts. The network allows BCBS to provide improved access for doctors and employees, maintain the security of confidential medical information and offer its members efficient services.

Verizon was selected in competitive bidding to provide network integration services and Cisco data equipment that connects BCBS sites across the Commonwealth.

The hub for the network is located at BCBS headquarters in the recently renovated Landmark Building in Boston's Fenway area. Three BCBS sites in Quincy and one in Rockland are connected to the hub by means of an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) network using a Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) OC-48 ring capable of carrying 2.5 gigabits of data per second. The insurer's sites in Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield are connected back to the Landmark Building hub via multiple ATM T-1 and T-3 circuits, then onto the SONET ring.

In addition, BCBS determined that in order to increase its competitive advantage in the demanding healthcare market, it needed to upgrade the speed and security of its remote access capabilities. To meet these additional BCBS requirements, Verizon designed a moderately sized virtual private network (VPN) with 100 remote access accounts. The VPN solution provides links to the SONET ring at the ATM DS3 level. In addition, through an arrangement with Genuity, Verizon is providing Managed VPN Plus services for the monitoring and management of remote dial-up users. Managed Firewall services preserve the integrity of the BCBS network and ensure that confidential patient information remains secure.

"This sale demonstrates that Verizon is far more than a telephone company. We're at the forefront of providing end-to-end network solutions for our customers' entire voice, data and IP-related needs," said Dick Martin, president, sales, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group.

The Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group provided all equipment, installation, maintenance and network management for the project. Cisco 8540 ATM equipment was deployed at the Eastern Massachusetts locations as part of the WAN application. BCBS of Massachusetts also upgraded its local area network (LAN) infrastructure supporting its data centers with the Cisco 6509 LAN switch.

"BCBS of Massachusetts implemented this state-of-the-art network infrastructure to improve and expand the applications that support its current and future members," said Martin. "The upgraded enterprise network enables more personnel to access key corporate locations, enabling BlueCross BlueShield to grow at a considerably greater rate while allowing improved access for employees, doctors and ultimately patients."

Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group manages the design, operation and maintenance of end-to-end total network integrated solutions for large business and government customers across the United States. With nearly 16,000 employees in 46 states, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group offers a complete range of basic and advanced communications products and services to meet the voice, video, data and IP-related needs of its customers. For more information on products and services available through Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group, please visit www.verizon.com.

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 nearly 109 million access line equivalents and more than 27.5 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the world's largest provider of print and online directory information. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $63 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.