01.06.2009Personal Tech

Verizon Completes $600 Million Network Expansion Projects in Massachusetts

BOSTON - Consumers and businesses in Massachusetts are reaping the benefits of Verizon's $600 million 2008 network expansion and enhancement program in the state, as the company completes the program's wireline and wireless projects.

Verizon announced Tuesday (Jan. 6) that the following Bay State initiatives have been completed:

  • Expanding the company's revolutionary FiOS TV service to 29 more Massachusetts communities, bringing competition and choice for cable TV service.  In 2008, FiOS TV arrived in Abington, Ashland, Bellingham, Danvers, Dover, Grafton, Hingham, Hudson, Lakeville, Leominster, Malden, Mansfield, Maynard, Middleton, Millbury, Norfolk, North Andover, Northborough, Norwell, Plymouth, Rochester, Stoughton, Stow, Sutton, Taunton, Walpole, Wareham, Wayland and Weston. Verizon is building its FiOS network in more than 100 communities, and by the end of this year expects to offer FiOS TV in many more communities.
  • Bringing Verizon High Speed Internet service to 24 western Massachusetts communities where broadband Internet has never been available. Those communities are:  Blandford, Becket, Colrain, Cummington, Florida, Goshen, Hancock, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Middlefield, Monroe, Montgomery, New Ashford, New Marlborough, Pelham, Plainfield, Rowe, Sandisfield, Tolland, Washington, Westhampton, Windsor and Worthington. In addition, Verizon has made its High Speed Internet service more widely available in Shutesbury. This project, which was completely financed by Verizon, complements the state's plan to expand the availability of broadband service throughout Massachusetts.
  • Bringing Verizon's High Speed Internet service at 7 megabits per second to 117 Massachusetts communities. The faster service now rivals traditional broadband service offered by cable companies, bringing more competition and lower prices.
  • Investing in wireless networks across Massachusetts and New England. Verizon Wireless has invested more than $2.2 billion in its New England wireless network since 2000, including more than $100 million during the first six months of 2008.  Every New England cell site of Verizon Wireless, the wireless carrier with America's largest 3G network, provides wireless broadband connectivity.
  • Significantly enhancing FiOS TV offerings, adding more than 90 new channels, including 71 more high-definition (HD) channels, to the company's FiOS TV lineup in Massachusetts. As a result, FiOS TV now offers more than 500 total channels - featuring more than 100 HD channels, more HD than any local cable TV company, including Comcast.
  • Built and opened the new Verizon Lifestyle Store inside Jordan's Furniture in Reading, creating a number of new sales and customer service jobs.

"Verizon is a major investor in the Massachusetts economy, and we demonstrated that again in 2008," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president in New England. "We are focused on building the most advanced telecommunications network in the region. A world-class telecommunications infrastructure, one built on the most modern technology available in the world today, is vital to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses in Massachusetts and to the state's economy."

Ken Dixon, Verizon Wireless regional president for New England, said, "We continue to aggressively invest in our wireless network across Massachusetts and New England. Consumers and businesses depend on the reliability and convenience of our network, so we're constantly working to increase network coverage and capacity."

Verizon Wireless' network investment increased voice and data coverage for customers in Massachusetts and as they travel throughout New England. Verizon Wireless' 3G high-speed wireless data network, which covers more than 80 percent of the U.S. population, offers computer users the nation's most reliable high-speed wireless mobile broadband network. Data is transmitted at average upload speeds between 500 and 800 Kbps (kilobits per second), and download speeds between 600 Kbps and 1.4 Mbps (megabits per second) over Verizon Wireless' BroadbandAccess with EV-DO Revision A network. V CAST brings video clips of TV shows, music on demand and other multimedia services to wireless phones.

Because consumers are still waiting longer than necessary for competition and cable TV choice, Verizon supports state legislation that would enable it to bring FiOS TV to more communities sooner.  "There is tremendous customer demand for the service," said Cupelo. "FiOS TV customers rave about it and are telling their family and friends to get it.  It's a must-have.  We are trying to make it available to as many customers as we can as quickly as we can."

Despite the economic downturn in the country, Massachusetts continues to be an important marketplace for Verizon's business. The company views the Bay State as a region that continues to foster competition, economic development and the opportunity for significant capital investment.

With the state's concentration of health care, education, technology and financial services users, the company's technology investments are an important link to an improved economic climate and productivity enhancements across industries.