Verizon Upgrades Augusta Switching Center To Enhance Service for Consumers and Businesses in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Verizon customers in Augusta will benefit from more than $2.8 million worth of technical upgrades in the company's local switching center. The building houses a digital switch, a state-of-the-art computer that routes calls to their destinations and provides popular products ranging from voice mail to Caller ID.

The upgrades, scheduled for completion by the end of June, will provide more capacity for processing voice and data communications, meeting the rising demand for local and long-distance calling and Internet access. Surfing the Internet has changed the way customers use their telephones, increasing the average length of a call, which in turn requires more switching capacity.

The Augusta switching center serves more than 27,000 phone lines in Maine's capital city.

"This project confirms Verizon's commitment to build and maintain an advanced telecommunications network throughout Maine," said Ed Dinan, president of Verizon Maine. "We continue to invest in our state-of-the-art infrastructure to maintain service excellence, as well to provide a platform for high-speed access to the Internet, work-at-home capabilities and a host of other advanced services."

In addition to deploying the latest technology, Verizon is currently awaiting Federal Communications Commission approval to sell long-distance service in Maine. Verizon filed the Maine long distance application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 21. The FCC must rule on the application by June 19. Both the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Justice have completed thorough evaluations and recommendations in favor of Verizon's application to offer long-distance service in Maine.

In Maine last year, Verizon invested $137 million in its telecommunications network serving the state, including the addition of close to 5,000 miles of fiber-optic cable. The company has more than 117,000 miles of fiber-optic cable in its Maine network -- enough to circle the earth nearly five times. Fiber-optic systems use laser-generated light pulses and digital technology to provide greater capacity, higher transmission speeds and better quality for voice, video and data transmitted over the network.

"From making significant network upgrades to our ongoing plans to offer new services, Verizon is helping consumers and businesses make progress every day, " said Dinan.

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 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.