BOSTON - Verizon is bringing to 19 communities in Middlesex and Essex Counties one of the most significant advancements in telecommunications technology in the past 100 years.
The company today announced it is building a fiber-optic network that will deliver faster data speeds, crystal clear voice -- and also has the capability to offer a full suite of video services -- to residence and business customers in Andover, Bedford, Belmont, Boxford, Burlington, Holliston, Hopkinton, Lexington, Lincoln, Lynnfield, North Reading, Natick, Newton, Reading, Sherborn, Topsfield, West Newbury, Winchester and Woburn.
Verizon's all-fiber system is capable of carrying a competitive choice to the existing cable television providers. The company will seek a franchise agreement from the local authority before offering a cable-TV-type service in a selected community.
Reading Town Manager Peter I. Hechenbleikner welcomed Verizon's FTTP efforts.
"We're excited that Verizon has selected Reading for early implementation of its all-fiber network," he said. "This investment will improve existing services and offer additional services to Reading businesses and residents.
"In the current climate of fast-paced changes, it is important that this community have the latest available technology infrastructure so that we stay competitively strong. We look forward to working with Verizon to expand the uses of this technology to benefit the entire town."
Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island, said, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime transformation of the communications network in these communities."
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 Cupelo. "Our FTTP project will help stimulate economic development and enhance our region as a great place to live and do business."
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.
Verizon began building its FTTP network last year in parts of California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. The company today also announced plans to construct its FTTP network in parts of Rhode Island. 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 Massachusetts.
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 those currently available, as well as voice and video capability," said Cheryl Mongell, Verizon market area president for New England. "Our fiber engineering creates a network that requires less day-to-day maintenance and allows 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. Verizon will notify customers when FiOS is available locally.
"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 Mongell. "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:
- 5 Mbps (megabits per second) 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. $199.95 a month.
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. When customers want more capacity, higher speeds or future video services, Verizon will be able to provide them instantly through the use of FTTP technology.
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 in Massachusetts.
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