Growth in Demand for FiOS Services Spurs Verizon's Hampton Fiber Solutions Center To Seek More Employees

HAMPTON, Va. - Spurred by significant growth in deployment and demand for its fiber-optic-based Internet and TV services around the country, Verizon is hiring 70 more employees at its state-of-the-art Fiber Solutions Center in Hampton.

Verizon currently employs 323 at its facility on the second floor of 200 New Market Fair Mall in Hampton.    

Employees in the center support consumers and business customers who purchase new broadband and video products - known as FiOSSM (FYE'-ose) services - delivered over Verizon's new, all-fiber network, which the company is building in more than half the states where it provides landline phone service, including Virginia.  The new technology uses fiber-optic connections - instead of copper wire - directly into homes or businesses to enable a broad array of voice, data and video services.  Verizon is the only company to connect homes and small businesses directly with fiber optics on a large scale.

Locally, Verizon currently is upgrading its network to all-fiber in parts of Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Verizon plans to pass 18 million premises with its fiber network by the end of 2010, or more than 50 percent of the approximately 33 million households in the company's 28-state wireline service area.  The FiOS network buildout is on target to pass a total of 6 million premises by year-end 2006, with an additional 3 million a year planned through 2010.

Verizon has set a target of 725,000 FiOS Internet customers by year-end 2006, with the service available for sale to 5 million premises.  This would represent a market penetration of approximately 15 percent, toward a 2010 goal of 35 percent to 40 percent -- or from 6 million to 7 million FiOS Internet customers.

Verizon has set a target of 175,000 FiOS TV customers by year-end 2006, making the service available to 1.8 million households.  This would be a market penetration rate of approximately 10 percent.  More than 1 million households are already currently eligible to purchase FiOS TV services, due to Verizon's significant progress in obtaining state and local cable franchises. 

Verizon's goal is for FiOS TV to have a market penetration rate that ranges from 20 percent to 25 percent by 2010 -- or from 3 million to 4 million FiOS TV customers -- based on its estimate that approximately 15 million households will be video-ready by then.

"The Hampton Fiber Solutions Center and its employees are playing a key role as Verizon provides our new FiOS customers with an unprecedented broadband and video experience," said Scott Nunes, Verizon's director of the Hampton Fiber Solutions Center.  "Our employees are trained in all aspects of how this technology works, and they will help our customers get the most out of the very best broadband and entertainment services available."

Specially trained fiber-customer-support analysts and fiber-network technicians in the center handle calls from customers who buy FiOS Internet and FiOS TV services.  They also support Verizon technicians who install the new products, answering technical questions and remotely diagnosing and correcting problems.

For the associate jobs, starting wages are $394-$937 a week (depending on experience).  Benefits include employer-paid medical, dental, life insurance and a vision-care plan, as well as a 401(k) plan and paid vacation.

Candidates can apply and schedule testing by visiting www.verizon.com/fiberjobs

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 55 million customers nationwide.  Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks.  Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 252,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.