Verizon's Advanced Fiber Network Comes to Rhode Island; Company Opens New Fiber Service Center in Providence, Creating Up to 150 New Jobs This Year

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Verizon has begun deploying its advanced fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network in Rhode Island, enabling the company to offer consumers and businesses the fastest data speeds available as well as crystal clear voice and video services.

The company also is opening a new Fiber Solutions Center here to support customers of broadband products, creating up to 150 new jobs this year. When it is fully staffed over the next two to three years, the center could employ up to 350 people.

At a news conference here today, Verizon officials joined with state and city leaders to announce creation of the center and to also announce that Verizon technicians have begun deploying Verizon's new fiber-to-the-premises network in two Rhode Island communities: North Kingstown and Warwick. The company expects to expand FTTP deployment to additional communities in the state over the next 18 months.

Employees in the center will support consumers and business customers who purchase new broadband products - known as FiOS (FYE'-ose) services - over Verizon's FTTP network, which the company has been building in parts of nine other states since last year. The new technology uses a fiber-optic link to directly connect a home or business to the Verizon network, replacing the copper-wire technology used today and paving the way for an array of exciting new voice, data and video services.

Verizon has already opened similar customer service centers in the Dallas-Forth Worth area of Texas and in Hampton, Va.

"We are delighted to bring this center to Providence - it's a vibrant New England city with a rich history of commerce," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president for Rhode Island and Massachusetts. "Location of this center in Providence, as well as our moving ahead with FTTP in Rhode Island, further underscores our commitment to and partnership with this great state and the people who live here."

Cheryl Mongell, Verizon market area president for operations in New England, said, "Verizon's fully fiber-optic network is technically superior to other communication platforms because it offers supreme reliability and the fastest data speeds possible - while also setting the stage for us to provide video services. Our fiber engineering creates a network that requires less day-to-day maintenance, and repairs can be provisioned and completed more quickly."

Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri said, "Verizon's decision to open a new customer service center in Providence is great news for the entire state. In my first State of the State address, I set an ambitious goal of creating 20,000 new jobs in Rhode Island. Verizon's announcement is a very good sign that we are well on our way to reaching that goal.

"Verizon could have opened this new center anywhere in the United States," Gov. Carcieri added. "I want to thank Verizon for opening it in our capital city and for recognizing that Rhode Island is a great place to expand."

Providence Mayor David Cicilline said, "I thank Verizon for its long-time commitment to Providence, and I commend them for creating very good, high-paying jobs right here. This is exciting validation that a more efficient and transparent city government creates a trusting, business-friendly environment."

The new center will be located at 234 Washington St., utilizing existing space in a building already owned by Verizon. Currently the building is used by Verizon for offices and to house switching equipment that routes voice calls and data traffic. Employees in the new center will handle calls from customers who buy new FiOS products, answering technical questions, assisting customers in trouble-shooting problems, and remotely diagnosing and correcting them.

Verizon earlier this year began selling FiOS broadband Internet access services to consumers served by its new FTTP network in parts of California, Florida, and Texas. The company has begun building an FTTP network in six East Coast states as well as Rhode Island, and plans to begin general marketing of FiOS products in those states later this year. Verizon will notify customers when FiOS products are available.

Verizon also plans to offer video services over FTTP, and introduce its first video products in some locations later this year.

FiOS services offer Internet access at speeds of up to 5, 15 and 30 Mbps (megabits per second) downstream, and up to 2 Mbps upstream for the 5 and 15 Mbps products and 5 Mbps upstream for the 30 Mbps product. Customer reaction to these new products has been positive, with the number of Verizon's broadband customers doubling in the company's inaugural FiOS market in Keller, Texas, since sales began last August.

Verizon began building its FTTP network in Keller last May and then expanded elsewhere. The company expects overall to hire approximately 3,000 to 5,000 new employees by the end of this year to help build the network.

Verizon will begin advertising for the new jobs over the next several weeks. People interested in applying can also visit Verizon's Web site at www.verizon.com/fiberjobs.

Verizon Communications Inc.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. With a diverse work force of approximately 208,000, Verizon has four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband, nationwide long-distance and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.