Verizon Business to Provide Voice Communications Services to U.S. Forest Service

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. -- Verizon Business will provide the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service with a wide range of voice communications services for its more than 1,100 offices.  The five-year task order, under category 3 of the U.S. General Services Administration's CONNECTIONS contract, is valued at up to $37 million. It includes a one-year commitment and four one-year optional renewals.

Under terms of the deal, Verizon Business will provide maintenance, repair and support services for traditional voice and voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) systems -- including private branch exchange (PBX) and traditional key telephone systems (KTS) -- supporting 40,000 Forest Service employees at offices across the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.  

The Forest Service, established in 1905, manages about 193 million acres of public lands in national forests and grasslands.

"The Forest Service is expected to respond quickly to the business at hand and its important mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations," said Jerry Edgerton, group president of Verizon Federal, the sales organization within Verizon Business dedicated to serving federal government customers. "By outsourcing voice support services to Verizon Business, the Forest Service can focus on its core mission, rather than its telecommunications infrastructure. By delivering the quality communications and professional services our government customers have come to expect from Verizon Business, we believe we can help the Forest Service control costs and save time while enhancing the agency's communications."

The GSA CONNECTIONS contract enables federal agencies to buy a broad range of telecommunications equipment, support services and professional services to build an end-to-end solution to meet their needs. Verizon Business is one of 17 prime contractors awarded the CONNECTIONS contract in 2003.

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large business and government customers worldwide.  Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced technology and professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.