05.13.2003

Verizon Supercharges DSL with New Wi-Fi Access, Higher Speed, Lower Prices and 'Verizon Online DSL with MSN 8' Service

NEW YORK -- Subscribers to Verizon Online's digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet access services now have next-generation computer networking features at their fingertips with higher speeds, Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) access and state-of-the-art software from MSN, all at a new, low price.


The supercharged service from Verizon follows the company's recent announcement that it will extend broadband capacity to 80 percent of its lines by the end of this year. Verizon announced the package of new services and prices for both consumer and business subscribers today. The price is as low as $29.95 a month when consumers purchase DSL as part of a package of Verizon services.


The series of new broadband initiatives includes the introduction of free Wi-Fi high-speed Internet connectivity for Verizon Online customers at Verizon HotSpots across New York City. More than 150 HotSpots are already up and running, and the company plans to activate 1,000 HotSpots by year-end, making this the largest Wi-Fi deployment by any Internet service provider in a single U.S. city.


Verizon Online also has raised the maximum speed of its entry-level consumer and small-business DSL Internet access services for qualified lines, while at the same time lowering its monthly price by as much as 30 percent. In addition, eligible DSL Internet access consumers can now enjoy the benefits of MSN 8 at no additional charge as part of a new Verizon Online DSL with MSN 8 service.


"As we extend our broadband services into the highly competitive mass marketplace, we bring an unbeatable combination of affordable speed, compelling content and untethered access," said Lawrence T. Babbio, Verizon vice chairman. "We're creating the future of broadband by offering the next generation of technologies, services and packaging that together provide unsurpassed value to our customers."


Matt Davis, director of broadband access technologies at the Yankee Group, said, "This aggressive network expansion and investment in new technologies demonstrates Verizon is determined to compete with the cable providers. The combination of an expanded market and faster speeds coupled with lower pricing and creative bundling will accelerate DSL penetration."


Verizon Wi-Fi Debuts in New York


Verizon today introduced its new Verizon Wi-Fi service, with the activation of 150 Verizon Wi-Fi HotSpots at select Verizon public phone locations across New York City. Verizon Online now offers its customers free access to the Verizon Wi-Fi HotSpots network.


Verizon Online customers who have laptop computers, PDAs or pocket PCs with Wi-Fi capabilities can enjoy high-speed Internet access within a 300-foot range of a Verizon Wi-Fi HotSpot, which will be identified with a distinctive Verizon HotSpot locator symbol. This means customers can connect outdoors in places like parks, bus stops and public squares as well as indoors at certain locations near Verizon Wi-Fi HotSpots. A map of Verizon HotSpot locations can be found at www.verizon.net/wifi.


The company currently is evaluating future deployment of its Wi-Fi network in other cities.


New Lower Pricing and Higher Speeds For Consumer and Business DSL Services


Maximum speeds for Verizon Online's DSL Internet access service will be increased for qualifying new consumer and small business customers from 768Kbps/128Kbps to up to 1.5Mpbs/128Kbps. Because of technical limits of DSL service, some customers will not be able to access the highest speeds.


Higher speed now also comes at a lower price. Consumers can pay just $29.95 a month for unlimited high-speed DSL Internet access when purchased with one of several Verizon Freedom packages that include local, regional and long-distance calling services. Or consumers can subscribe to the service for $34.95 without a package or other service requirements. These DSL services previously cost $34.95 a month in a package and $49.95 to $59.95 a month as a stand-alone service based on choice of speed.


Pricing for dynamic and static IP DSL services for businesses with maximum connection speeds of up to 1.5Mbps/128Kbps have been reduced by $10 a month to $59.95 and $89.95, respectively. Where available, Verizon Freedom for Business packages now offer a 20 percent discount on the monthly recurring charge for any business DSL package.


"Nobody matches our packages for value," said Babbio. "Our new pricing is made possible because we're building on the infrastructure investments we've already made, we are using technology and engineering advances to lower costs, and we believe that future investments will be made under a more investment-friendly regulatory scheme. The value of our offerings will help us continue to satisfy our current customers. We expect also to win new business among customers using competing technologies and to open a new market among the millions of consumers who have yet to purchase broadband services."


The new lower rates will become effective for existing Verizon Online DSL customers on May 21, 2003. Customers will begin seeing the new price on their June and July bills.


Verizon Debuts New 'Verizon Online DSL with MSN 8' Service


Verizon Online consumer DSL Internet access customers can also now enjoy the benefits of MSN 8 at no additional charge as part of the new Verizon Online DSL with MSN 8 service. The new service delivers a rich array of applications and features from both Verizon and MSN that are built for broadband.


"Together with MSN we are providing our customers with an extensive collection of content, software and tools they can only get when they purchase DSL from Verizon," said Babbio.


Verizon Online DSL with MSN 8 customers will enjoy benefits such as:

  • Exclusive shared browsing technology that allows them to surf the same Web site with a friend and chat via MSN Messenger about what they are seeing

  • Advanced parental controls that help limit children's access to inappropriate content and keep parents informed with weekly activity reports

  • Automatic e-mail virus protection and smart junk e-mail filters that help protect against spam and learn to eliminate even more spam over time

  • A Verizon Central site that conveniently consolidates content and services from Verizon including e-mail, account tools, games, music and entertainment

  • Verizon Online e-mail suite with 30Mb storage capacity for the primary user account and 10Mb storage each for up to eight secondary accounts

  • MSN Mail, with organizational tools and time-saving features such as preview panes and customizable folders

  • Research and learning tools from MSN Encarta Plus(r), including encyclopedia articles, a dictionary and thesaurus, and The Homework Center

  • MSN Money Plus financial management software that helps keep track of personal finances, pay bills online and manage the household budget

  • MSN Photos Plus with Microsoft Picture It! for editing and enhancing photos, creating online photo albums and enriching e-mails with photos.


The new service also will soon feature Verizon's new Digital Companion service that is currently under development. Digital Companion will allow customers to integrate their Verizon Online DSL Internet access service with their wired and wireless voice services. Calendars, address books, to-do lists and more can be integrated with caller ID tracking, call dialing, and call forwarding -- all with the click of a mouse.


New customers will receive MSN 8 with their Verizon Online installation CD, and existing customers can order the free CD by visiting www.verizon.net/betterway. A complete list of Verizon Online DSL with MSN 8 features and an online tour of the service can be found at www.verizon.net/betterway. For more information about becoming a Verizon Online customer, visit www.verizon.net/getdsl.


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.


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