Verizon's New High-Fiber 'Diet' for Northeast Indiana: Blazing-Fast Data and Crystal Clear Voice

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Verizon will soon bring to Fort Wayne and New Haven 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 the fastest data speeds available as well as crystal clear voice services. The Verizon network is capable of carrying a competitive choice to the existing cable television providers, but Verizon has not announced plans to deploy cable TV in the Fort Wayne area.

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 limitless potential for voice, data and video connections," said Great Lakes Region President Gale Given. "We believe our FTTP project will stimulate economic development; help convince companies and people to move to Fort Wayne and New Haven; and enhance Allen County as a great place to live and do business."

Building the fiber-optic network locally will take more than two years, but it will completely transform communication services for Verizon customers. Fort Wayne and New Haven are the company's first FTTP markets in the Great Lakes region.

Verizon began building its FTTP network last year in parts of California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, and the company yesterday announced plans to construct its FTTP network in Rhode Island.

Verizon expects to pass some 3 million homes and businesses by the end of this year. To help build its network across the country, Verizon will hire between 3,000 and 5,000 new employees by the end of this year. In the Fort Wayne area, Verizon expects to add approximately 200 full-time and another 80 temporary positions involving fiber splicing, installation and repair, engineering and drafting, according to Verizon North Central Market Area President Suri Surinder.

The company also expects to hire roughly 600 contractors to work on various aspects of the local FTTP project such as underground boring, trenching and fiber splicing. Engineering activity is expected to begin in February, and outside construction will start in late March or early April.

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 capabilities," said Surinder. "Our fiber network requires less day-to-day maintenance, and repairs can be provisioned and completed more quickly."

Local and state leaders saluted Verizon's FTTP effort in Fort Wayne and New Haven.

"This is a huge boost to the Fort Wayne economy," said Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard. "This multi-million dollar broadband investment by Verizon will make Fort Wayne a leader in technology infrastructure. This helps us build a better city to retain and gain jobs. We thank Verizon for their commitment to Fort Wayne. This new partnership will provide new, innovative service opportunities for many years."

New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald said, "I am thrilled with the potential of FTTP and appreciate Verizon's commitment to our communities. Verizon has seen the potential of New Haven, and I am encouraged that the project will further enhance our community's ability to attract new residents and companies. Thank you Verizon for your partnership with New Haven, Fort Wayne and Allen County governments."

Indiana State Sen. Tom Wyss said, "Verizon's selection of Fort Wayne and New Haven for their fiber expansion is an exciting opportunity for the community that will spur competition and create new services for everyone."

Allen County Commissioner Marla Irving said, "Building a fiber-optic network of this magnitude sends a very positive message to our community and to those who may be considering Allen County for new business opportunities and business expansion. We know that technology can make the difference between communities that thrive and communities that do not. This project sets the stage for a very exciting and prosperous future."

Although the use of fiber optics is common for long-distance 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.

Customer reaction to Verizon's new fiber-based Internet access service, called FiOS (FYE'-ose), has been very positive, with broadband subscribers already more than doubling in the company's inaugural FiOS market of Keller, Texas, northwest of Dallas. Verizon will notify customers in Fort Wayne and New Haven 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 Surinder. "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.

Verizon expects to install more than 6.5 million feet of fiber-optic cabling in the Fort Wayne area, passing about 65,000 homes and small businesses with fiber. The company's fiber cables and related equipment will be located inside the company's local central switching offices, buried in the ground or placed on utility poles, using existing rights of way.

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 throughout Indiana.

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.