Verizon Signs Up Over 150 Large Business Customers for Advanced Services on Expanded, High-Speed Data Network

NEW YORK - Just five months after Verizon announced an ambitious plan to expand its high-speed data network, over 150 of the company's largest business customers have signed contracts for advanced services provided over the network. The companies include Bank of New York and The PMA Insurance Group in Pennsylvania.

The expansion plan, dubbed Enterprise Advance, is a key part of Verizon's strategy to capitalize on new opportunities in the large business, or enterprise, data market and boost the revenue generated by the company's Enterprise Solutions Group.

"Our business customers have been looking to diversify their vital long-distance communication needs for some time, and Verizon's network now gives them a strong and viable choice," said Verizon Enterprise Solutions President Eduardo Menascé. "Since we already have strong relationships with thousands of business and government customers, our new capabilities will enable those customers to easily extend their communication services with us."

Under the first phase of Enterprise Advance, which is now complete, Verizon put in place high-speed links throughout the Northeast, specifically to connect states such as New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, among others.

"The initial positive customer response to Verizon's service indicates that the Enterprise Advance initiative is well-timed to meet market requirements," said Courtney Quinn, Senior Analyst, Yankee Group. "The fact that Verizon has a solid reputation as a financially strong, stable company, positions the company as an appealing provider in today's telecom environment. Verizon also has a strong base upon which to build, given that nearly 70 percent of U.S. enterprises have a presence in Verizon territory."

Verizon has combined its well-regarded local service with more long-distance business offerings and advanced data services, such as optical networking and Internet Protocol (IP) services, and is marketing them to Fortune 1000 corporations, governments, and finance, education and healthcare entities.

Verizon Gets Positive Customer Response

The Bank of New York was one of the first customers to sign on for Verizon's Enterprise Advance services to provide connectivity for the bank's branch network. "These days it is essential to be security-minded in everything we do with our communications. We see Verizon as a vendor we can trust today and into the future to support those needs," said Jeff Cohen, the bank's senior vice president for the Telecommunications Services Division.

Veronica Pellizzi, senior vice president of sales, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group, said, "With the completion of our long-distance approvals, we can now support more of our regional and national customers over our own facilities. Our customers tell us how pleased they are that we can now provide these services so efficiently, at reasonable prices and with guaranteed levels of service quality."

Frame Relay, ATM and SONET Available

In the first quarter of 2003, Verizon added long-distance connections in the Northeast for three of its signature services. The services -- Regional Frame Relay, SONET and ATM -- all support customers with intense data needs such as companies needing to transmit video or financial companies that handle thousands of transactions per day. The services also support critical business applications such as disaster recovery and data storage, and they are now available across the following states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Verizon Select Services Inc. provides Verizon's long-distance service.

Additional Milestones Scheduled

Verizon, as it previously announced, plans to extend its services to more cities along the I-95 corridor in the East and then to cities across the country over the coming months. The extended Verizon network will support multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), which allows customers to easily connect any office with older transmission technology to other locations with newer technology without the challenges such connections present today.

Additional regional offerings will include Transparent Local Area Networking Service (TLS)/Ethernet, IP and optical networking services such as Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM). Work also continues on other Enterprise Advance projects, including enhanced customer care, improved online billing, ordering, repair and account management services.
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 over 14,000 employees in 44 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, visit www.verizon.com/enterprisesolutions.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, 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 136.6 million access line equivalents and 33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.