Verizon's Telecom Network To Spur Economic Development in Rural Maryland

BALTIMORE - In a move designed to spur economic development in Maryland, Verizon is extending the reach of high-speed, broadband telecommunications services to some of the state's rural areas.

The company has established 11 "virtual" ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) communications links in various parts of the state. This new arrangement will extend the reach of high-capacity data services to rural business customers, thereby allowing them to be more competitive. Verizon is doing this in conjunction with Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development to enhance the business growth in rural Maryland.

"Verizon is accelerating the delivery of the broadband promise by offering the latest generation of technologies, services and packaging that together provide unsurpassed value to our customers," said William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland. "The world has changed and through our virtual ATM offering, we'll help meet rural Maryland businesses' needs for the highest-speed communications at much more attractive pricing - an unbeatable combination."

ATM switching equipment traditionally is located in hubs at certain Verizon switching offices. Customers connect to these hubs on Verizon's network to gain access to the high-speed broadband service.

Verizon's existing ATM service is limited to 50 miles from switching offices containing a physical ATM switch. Before this product, customers outside the 50-mile range were required to purchase a more expensive special connection to the nearest ATM switch in order to subscribe to the service.

"Verizon's virtual ATM service is an extremely important opportunity for businesses in rural Maryland," said Ellis Kitchen, chief information officer of the Maryland Department of Budget and Management. "The purchasing arrangement levels the playing field for businesses customers in rural areas of the state and will spur economic growth and development."

The company has deployed virtual ATM hubs in Allegany, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Talbot and Worchester counties. "By adding virtual hubs in these rural counties, Verizon is reducing the mileage cost to customers, thereby making it more attractive," Roberts said.

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. 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.