Verizon Pumps $53 Million Into Its Oregon Network

BEAVERTON, Ore. - Verizon Communications is investing more than $53 million this year to further modernize, expand and upgrade its telecommunications network in Oregon. This year's investment brings Verizon's total investment in its Oregon network to more than $433 million over the past five years.

Verizon, which serves more than 500,000 customers in Oregon, is pumping about $150,000 a day into its network in the state this year. Nationwide, Verizon will continue to aggressively invest in its wireline network, with plans to spend some $12 billion this year in its wireline capital program. The Verizon wireline network -- which carries more than 1.5 billion calls each day and billions of bits of data -- has more than 8.3 million miles of fiber-optic cable, more than any other local or long-distance company in the country.

"Verizon is making a tremendous investment in its telecommunications network to provide Oregon consumers and businesses with high-speed access to the Internet, work-at-home capabilities, as well as a host of other innovative advanced services," said Connie Brinkley, director of Oregon customer operations for Verizon. "We are committed to building a telecommunications network that is second to none and to delivering the benefits of advanced technology to everyone."

Verizon's network investment in 2001 will allow the company to expand and enhance its digital switching and fiber-optic facilities to keep pace with the region's growth. In Oregon, the company's network is 100 percent digital and includes more than 27,000 miles of fiber-optic cable. Most recently, Verizon completed two fiber rings in the Beaverton metropolitan area, providing an additional 130,000 data and voice circuits for business and residential customers.

While the majority of Verizon's $53 million investment is being spent on routine maintenance and upgrades, Brinkley said the company is working toward several key milestones in Oregon this year:

  • Work has begun on a $2.2 million project to build a 67-mile fiber-optic link connecting Coos Bay and Langlois with Port Orford, Gold Beach and Brookings. The project, due to be completed by the end of the year, will increase the capacity and reliability of Verizon's voice and data network in the area.

  • Verizon will establish a 14-mile fiber link from the Murphy and Provolt area to Grants Pass by the end of the summer. In addition, a 15-mile fiber link will be extended in Verizon's Eastern Oregon service area starting in LaGrande, with a connection to Wallowa and Joseph. The company will invest about $8 million in these two projects, which will be completed in the fall.

  • Three new state-of-the-art digital telephone switches were recently installed in Myrtle Point, Halsey and Sweetbriar. Elgin is slated for a new switch later this spring. The four new switches, which route calls and data, represent a $5 million investment by Verizon and serve about 11,000 customer lines.

  • New custom-calling features will be deployed in the greater Silverton area (Silverton, Aumsville, Mill City, Turner) this winter as a result of an investment of over $500,000. These calling features include Caller ID, Anonymous Call Block, Automatic Call Return, Call Block, Call Trace and Distinctive Ring.

  • High-speed Internet access service using digital subscriber line ( DSL) technology is currently available in 47 Verizon switching offices in Oregon and will be in 56 offices by the end of the year. Verizon DSL service is now available to more than 75 percent of the company's phone lines in Oregon. Verizon offers DSL service in urban areas and many rural areas including La Grande, Coos Bay, North Bend, Bandon, Coquille, Reedsport, Brookings and Gold Beach.

  • Verizon will spend over $5 million this year to replace older-generation telephone cable with new cable in the company's Oregon service area
    Quality of Service

  • From 1996 to 2000, Verizon met all statewide service quality measurements mandated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC).

  • The average number of monthly complaints to the PUC has declined 60 percent in the past four years.

  • The company has never incurred a fine for poor service quality in Oregon.

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 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $65 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.