Verizon's Enhanced Access New Jersey Web Site Makes Distance Learning Easier for Schools

NEWARK, N.J. - Verizon today launched an enhanced Web site to support its Access New Jersey (ANJ) program that will make it easier for Garden State educators to use distance learning as a teaching tool.

ANJ is Verizon's statewide educational initiative that provides discounted high-speed telecommunications services, free equipment and free use of a video portal for New Jersey's kindergarten through 12th-grade schools and public libraries.

The ANJ Web site, www.accessnewjersey.net, streamlines the process of scheduling videoconferences, maintains a list of content providers, provides technical troubleshooting, and hosts a community forum that allows teachers to exchange ideas or collaborate on future projects.

"This enhanced Web site will make it easier for schools to tap into one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in the world," said Dennis M. Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey. "Thousands of students have already taken advantage of Access New Jersey. This improved Web site will allow many more to enhance their learning experience using today's technology."

The changes to the ANJ Web site allow teachers to schedule time to use the video portal for videoconferencing. More than 300 New Jersey schools are using the portal, which allows them to hold live, interactive video classes for students statewide without incurring long-distance charges. The Web site also provides an online calendar for teachers to review their videoconferencing schedules, and lists a sampling of ANJ's video content providers.

The community section on the Web site allows teachers to participate in a forum where they can share information and find other schools interested in teaming up on similar projects. Also featured is a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section with troubleshooting tips for technical issues.

"Teachers can search for content providers, ideas for a videoconference to support course subject matter, and other schools that may want to partner on specific subjects," said Eric Kulmala, one of four Verizon managers who make up the ANJ video portal staff.

ANJ, established in 1997, is Verizon's agreement with the state to provide data and video services for kindergarten through 12th-grade schools and libraries. Verizon has committed $130 million for ANJ in the form of discounted services and free equipment. The company has connected nearly 2,500 schools and public libraries in the state to its telecommunications network.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 139 million access line equivalents and 36 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with nearly 16 million long-distance lines. The company 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.