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WASHINGTON -- Saying that Verizon has become a leader in the information technology (IT) arena, Verizon President and Co-CEO Ivan Seidenberg said today the company is uniquely positioned to quickly deliver the benefits of rapidly advancing technology to consumers and businesses.
"Customers who used to be passive consumers of technology now control such powerful and intelligent machines that they've become part of the fabric of the network itself," Seidenberg said during his keynote address at the annual COMNET 2002 conference here. "What used to require a Ph.D. in engineering or a computer the size of a football field can now be done by a 15-year-old with an iMac and a digital camera."
Seidenberg cited the progress Verizon has already made in becoming a leader in information technology, including having one of the largest capital investment programs of any industry in the country and aggressively deploying the best technology.
"Market leaders have special opportunities," he said. "They also have special obligations. As leaders in the IT industry, it's not enough for us to think in incremental ways. We have to do what other market-leading technology companies do, and that's invent the future."
Seidenberg said the primary focus for Verizon will be to develop a ubiquitous broadband network.
"Broadband has the potential to have the same impact on the IT industry in the next 20 years that open architectures and faster computer chips had in the last 20 years, paving the way for the new applications we've all been talking about for years: telemedicine, e-learning, video on demand, fast and secure e-commerce ... all available anywhere, over any kind of network and with any kind of appliance," Seidenberg said.
"I truly believe we stand on the brink of a golden age of innovation and entrepreneurial energy in communications."
Verizon technology deployment, Seidenberg said, has already resulted in:
- A wireless network that will be all-digital by the end of this year,
- Digital, fiber and intelligent electronics throughout Verizon's backbone network,
- DSL (digital subscriber line) capability to millions of access lines,
- Operating systems and software to open Verizon's network for competition.
"As we move forward from here, we're focused on driving high-speed access over all our customer connections as we move to 1XRTT in wireless and more robust DSL over landline -- and, ultimately, to the ubiquitous broadband connectivity that will integrate all this technology into a seamless whole," Seidenberg said.
Seidenberg said Verizon will continue to have one of the nation's largest capital investment budgets, which will help drive the economy as the company deploys more technology.
"Telecom spending on broadband will have huge multiplier effects on the economy. It's the kind of technology innovation that -- like the PC and the Internet -- creates change at the core of the economy, not the margins," he said. "It will transform entertainment, create demand for new PCs run by more powerful chips, reinvent consumer electronics, and usher in new productivity-boosting business applications."
As Verizon deploys more technology, Seidenberg said, it will focus on four areas: convenience, customer control, security and overall solutions.
At the same time, he added, the federal government must work quickly to remove barriers that dissuade companies such as Verizon from investing even more in broadband deployment.
"Momentum is growing behind this issue," he said. "But agreeing in principle isn't enough. Now it's time for the Federal Communications Commission, along with the Congress, to take action to open the gates to broadband investment and let us put our resources to work where they can jump-start high-tech growth and do the most good for America."
In closing, Seidenberg said the provision of high-quality service remains a primary goal for Verizon. He said the response by the company and its employees to the Sept. 11 attacks showed what can be done.
"I want to say to everybody here today how proud I am to be part of an industry that, in restoring this country's communication system in the wake of the most devastating attack in our history, has proven what we can do when we focus on what we do best," he said. "The whole communications industry came through when America needed us the most. And -- in doing so -- we showed that we can live up to the responsibility, and the trust, that our customers place in us."
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.
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