VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Verizon will soon bring to parts of the Virginia Beach area one of the most significant advancements in telecommunications technology in the past 100 years.
The company today announced plans to build a fiber-optic network that will deliver faster data speeds, crystal clear voice - and also has the capability to offer a full suite of future video services - to residence and business customers here. The company will seek a franchise agreement from the local authority before offering cable service in a particular community.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime transformation of the communications network serving Virginia Beach," said Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia.
Known as fiber-to-the-premises, or FTTP, the fiber-optic network uses hair-thin strands of fiber and optical electronics to directly link homes and businesses to Verizon's network. The new network replaces the traditional copper-wire connections and will unleash a range of advanced communication services.
"We are building the communications network of the future to provide customers unmatched network reliability, incredible speed and exciting new options for voice, data and video connections," said Woltz. "Our FTTP project will help stimulate economic development and enhance Virginia Beach's reputation as a great place to live and do business."
Verizon has begun building its FTTP network in the North Great Neck Road area of Virginia Beach. Residents will be notified in advance with letters or door-hangers when construction is scheduled in their neighborhoods. Residents may call Verizon's contractor, Ivy H. Smith Co., on 800-768-8831 with any construction questions.
Although the use of fiber optics is common for long-distance and inter-city communications throughout the telecommunications industry, Verizon is one of the first major telecom companies to begin using it to directly connect homes and businesses to the network on a widespread scale.
In addition to Virginia, Verizon is building its FTTP network in parts of 13 other states: California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas. In Virginia, FTTP construction also is under way in parts of Northern Virginia.
To help build the network across the country, Verizon will hire between 3,000 and 5,000 new employees by the end of this year, including hundreds in Virginia. Locally, the company on March 7 celebrated the grand opening of its Hampton-based Fiber Solutions Center, which will employ about 180 people by the end of this month.
Fiber offers tremendous advantages to network operators, in addition to new and superior services for customers. For example, fiber offers reliable service in stretches of wet weather that can affect copper-based networks.
"Verizon's fully fiber-optic network is technically superior to other communication platforms because it offers faster data speeds than currently available, as well as voice and future video capability," said David R. Magnant, Verizon market area president for Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. "Our fiber engineering creates a network that requires less day-to-day maintenance and allows for faster repairs."
Customer reaction to Verizon's new fiber-based Internet access service, called FiOS (FYE'-ose), has been very positive, with broadband subscribers more than doubling in the company's inaugural FiOS market of Keller, Texas, just outside Dallas/Fort Worth. In Virginia, FiOS Internet Service currently is available to many residential customers in the Annandale and Falls Church areas in Northern Virginia. Verizon will notify customers when FiOS is available locally. For more information on FiOS services, customers can visit www.verizon.net/fios.
"FiOS has been an extraordinary hit with our first customers. People are literally lining up to get what they know is a fantastic service at an excellent price," said Magnant. "The need for speed and ability to take advantage of bandwidth-intensive applications remain a top priority for all computer users."
There are three tiers of Verizon FiOS Internet Service for consumers, with downstream (download) speeds of up to 5, 15 and 30 Mbps (megabits per second).*
- 5 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream. Suited for Internet surfing and basic computer functions. $34.95 a month as part of a calling package, or $39.95 a month stand-alone.
- 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream. Appealing to families that have multiple computers and various needs such as media downloads and the ability to access or share large files. $44.95 a month as part of a calling package, or $49.95 a month stand-alone.
- 30 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream. Designed for communications-intensive power users with significant bandwidth needs, such as telecommuters or work-at-home households and avid online gamers. $179.95 a month as part of a calling package, or $199.95 a month stand-alone.
The FTTP initiative represents a natural extension of the more than 10 million miles of fiber-optic cable Verizon already has in place and extends the high capacity, speed and quality of fiber directly to the customer's doorstep. With FTTP technology, Verizon can easily add more capacity, higher speeds or future video services.
Verizon's digital subscriber line (DSL) service will remain the company's most widely available form of high-speed Internet access for the foreseeable future while the company ramps up FTTP deployment. The company offers DSL on a widespread basis throughout Virginia.
*NOTE: Actual (throughput) speeds will vary.
With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 210,000 in 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 43.8 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.