Verizon Puts New National Backbone to Work With Launch of IP-Based Virtual Private Network Service

NEW YORK - With its national broadband backbone in place, Verizon has launched long-haul Internet protocol virtual private network (IP-VPN) service to support its largest business, education and government customers. By offering the new service - which enables customers to economically integrate their communications over a single network - Verizon can now compete directly with other national carriers in the growing market for IP-VPN service.

Virtual private networks use packet-switching technology to transmit data and voice over a shared network while providing many of the features and benefits of a private network created specifically for a customer.

According to Veronica Pellizzi, senior vice president of sales for Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group, "Customers increasingly are looking at IP services to simplify their networks, drive cost efficiencies, support advanced applications, and improve their ability to bring products and services to market more quickly.

"Traditionally, they have relied on Verizon for local and regional networking expertise," she said. "Now, rather than turning to another national carrier, customers can count on Verizon to meet their national networking requirements and help them integrate their voice and data services."

Verizon's new network employs a technology called multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), which enables customers to use the Verizon IP-VPN service with their existing communications and avoid the expense of purchasing new systems.

The introduction of IP-VPN service is part of Enterprise Advance, Verizon's initiative to deploy advanced networks and services to meet the national communications requirements of large-business, or enterprise, customers. Since announcing Enterprise Advance in November 2002, Verizon has interconnected its local and regional networks, deployed a national IP-based backbone, and launched several national data services.

Verizon's new service is available now in select Northeast and mid-Atlantic areas and will expand through the summer to Verizon markets in the South and West.

According to Yankee Group, an industry research firm that analyzes communications trends, IP-VPN services are expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 38 percent from 2003 through 2008 as customers address increasing decentralization of operations and integrate their IP-based applications on a single network.

Verizon offers IP-VPN with two service quality options - basic and premier. Customers choose the option that best meets their requirements for connecting remote offices or branches to headquarter locations or data centers. Verizon also supports IP-VPN service with service-level agreements (SLAs) for both the local and long-haul portions of the company's network. The new IP-VPN service supports standard industry routing protocols, as well as Cisco's proprietary Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP).

To facilitate the ordering and provisioning of IP-VPN, Verizon has invested over $15 million to deploy an automated provisioning process.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group manages the design, operation and maintenance of end-to-end integrated network solutions for large business, government and education customers across the United States. With over 7,200 employees in 35 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. In addition, over 5,200 field operations personnel support enterprise customers nationwide. In the enterprise market, Verizon Select Services Inc. provides Verizon long-distance service, including interLATA IP-VPN service. For more information on products and services available through Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group, visit www.verizon.com/enterprisesolutions.

Verizon Communications

A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.