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SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. - Verizon once again delivered high-quality local and long-distance phone services in Wisconsin during 2002, using one of the most advanced and reliable networks in the nation and continuing a trend over the last four years.
"Strong results from almost every major indicator show that we're continuing our focus on delivering the best phone service possible to our customers in the Badger state," said Dan Matson, Verizon vice-president, regulatory and government affairs. "Customer complaints to state regulators remained at or near historic lows as did customer requests for repairs, while we continued to invest heavily in the Verizon network that serves Wisconsin."
Last year, Verizon spent $51 million on capital projects in the state - helping the company expand and modernize a statewide network that now features over 42,000 miles of fiber optics, improving overall quality and expanding the availability of products ranging from DSL (digital subscriber line) to Caller ID Name and Number, according to Matson.
Since 1999, Verizon has dramatically reduced the rate of customer complaints to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC), from a high of more than 1.05 complaints per 1,000 lines in 1999 to 0.45 complaints per 1,000 lines today.
"We've worked diligently to continually improve service quality to our Wisconsin customers," Matson said. "And our ongoing investment in the Verizon network that serves them is paying off, as indicated by significant improvement in our record on repair requests. It's clear that Verizon's network is performing very well."
During 2002, Verizon's trouble-report rate - or the number of repairs requested per 100 phone lines - averaged less than 13 in Wisconsin. These repair requests from customers typically include static on a line, a feature that doesn't work properly or a line that is out of service. The trouble report rate has improved about 23 percent since 1999 when there were 17 trouble reports per 100 lines. The PSC's industry target for the annual trouble report rate is 20 reports per 100 lines or less.
Verizon is measured by the PSC in several other areas, including the average time customers wait for installation once they've placed an order, the average time a phone line is out of service, the percentage of repeat trouble reports, and the average time it takes employees to answer customer calls made to repair. Verizon beat the industry targets in each of these areas.
Last year, in all of these areas, Verizon's performance improved. For example, customers calling Verizon for new services receive those services in less than 12 hours on average. Verizon has invested in an extensive computer network that allows custom calling features to be installed the same day, at times even when the customer is still online requesting the service. This interval for installation is a 67 percent improvement since 1999, when the average wait for installation was over 33 hours. The industry objective in this area is about 54 hours, or a little over 2 days.
"These are challenging times in the telecommunications industry and Verizon is keeping its eye on the most important ball -- customer service," Matson said.
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 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to 33 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.