PORTLAND, Maine - Verizon is beginning immediately to make plans for wider deployment of broadband in the state, and has made a commitment to roll out more High Speed Internet service here as part of an agreement between the company and the Maine Public Advocate's office.
The agreement, which has been approved by the Public Utilities Commission, will increase Verizon's capability to offer the service to approximately 70 percent of the company's access lines in Maine. It is estimated that an additional 35,000 of the company's lines in the state will have broadband capability. The expansion is expected to be completed by February 2008.
"I'm delighted we were able to work closely and intensively with the Public Advocate to come up with a plan that the commission could approve," said Edward Dinan, Verizon's state president for Maine. "But even more importantly, the plan benefits the residents of Maine. This commitment to broadband will provide many more Maine residential and business customers an affordable broadband option from Verizon, once the PUC issues its final order."
The agreement also stays, until after the completion of the merger between Verizon and FairPoint, the so-called AFOR (Alternative Form of Regulation) case that is addressing the form of regulation for Verizon in the state. In January, Verizon and FairPoint announced an agreement under which FairPoint would acquire Verizon's landline properties in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Upon approval by various regulatory commissions, the acquisition is expected to be completed Jan. 31, 2008.
The project to equip more than 20 Verizon central offices with DSL technology will cost $12 million. When complete, 131 of the company's 138 switching centers in the state will be DSL-capable. The 20 central offices are: Bowdoinham, Brownville, Columbia, Danforth, Dark Harbor, Franklin, Frenchville, Georgetown, Jonesport, Lubec, Monroe, Monson, North Haven, North Sanford, North Whitefield, Pembroke, Phippsburg, Pownal, Sedgwick and The Forks.
In addition, the DSL technology will be extended to some 70 remote terminals that work from DSL-capable central offices. DSL service generally is available to homes and offices located within approximately three miles of a Verizon's local central office.
Consumers will be able to call Verizon's Consumer Sales and Service Centers at 1-800-870-9999 to determine whether the service will be available to them. Small businesses can call 1-800-941-9900.
Qualified Maine customers who order Verizon High Speed Internet service online by Oct. 31, 2007, with a connection speed of up to 768 Kbps (kilobits per second) and a two-year commitment will pay $14.99 a month for as long as they subscribe to the price-for-life plan. The same offer applies for Verizon's 3 Mbps (megabits per second) service, which is available online for $27.99 a month. The offer is also available by calling Verizon's sales offices, for $19.99 a month for a connection speed of up to 768 kbps, and $29.99 a month for a connection speed up to 3 Mbps. The price-for-life plan applies to Verizon's base Internet service.
No matter what speed or plan customers choose, Verizon High Speed Internet includes 24 x 7 live customer support, a 30-day money-back guarantee, nine e-mail accounts and 10 MB (megabytes) of personal Web space. For additional information about Verizon high-speed Internet plans, consumers can call the numbers listed above, or visit www.verizon.net/highspeed to see if the service is available to their homes and to place orders.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, 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 more than 62 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.