Verizon to Deploy Fiber Optics, Electronics, Bringing Additional Advanced Technology, Services To Altoona Area

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Verizon Communications is investing $1.5 million to modernize the local telecommunications network and provide additional

broadband capability to its customers in the Altoona area.

Verizon is installing fiber-optic cable and electronic equipment along Chestnut Avenue in the Juniata section of Altoona and in the nearby communities of

Grandview, Asbury Lane and Riggles Gap. This new technology will provide additional broadband capability and reliability in the Verizon network.

Verizon's work along Chestnut Avenue is being done in connection with a street reconstruction project in Altoona and is expected to be completed by

December, 2001.

"This project is the latest evidence that Verizon is meeting its commitment to deliver a state-of-the-art telecommunications network throughout

Pennsylvania," said Daniel J. Whelan, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "We are accelerating our construction schedules to provide rural and

urban customers with high-speed access to the Internet, work-at-home capabilities, as well as a host of other innovative advanced services."

Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin glass fibers and digital technology to deliver high quality telephone service along with high-capacity/high-speed voice and data

transmission services.

Whelan said Verizon has made major strides in deploying advanced technology in its network:

  • Investment in Verizon Pennsylvania's (formerly Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania) network totaled nearly $2 billion in 1999 and 2000.

  • Fiber miles in the Verizon Pennsylvania network increased from 911,308 in 1999 to 997,442 in 2000.

  • Verizon Pennsylvania fulfilled its commitment to the state Public Utility Commission to convert all of its 218 switching offices to digital technology by the end

    of last year.

  • Verizon's Online DSL (digital subscriber line) service was launched in Pennsylvania in November 1998 and is now available to more than 1.5 million

    households and 3.3 million lines in the state. Verizon Online DSL is a high-speed connection to the Internet that enables users to connect to cyberspace at

    speeds much faster than today's fastest analog modems.

"Verizon is keeping its promises to Pennsylvania," Whelan said. "We are building and enhancing a public telecommunications network in

Pennsylvania that is the finest in the world and is a vital part of the commonwealth's economic infrastructure."

In addition to deploying the latest technology, Verizon has spent tens of millions of dollars to open Pennsylvania's local telephone market to competition.

"We have irreversibly opened our markets to competition," Whelan said. "We can't force the long distance giants or anyone else to compete

here, but anyone who genuinely wants to enter our markets can do so."

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, 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 more than 101 million access line equivalents and

more than 27 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's

global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit