Verizon Helps World Watch and Listen As Nation Inaugurates Its 43rd President

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Washington, D.C. -- When George W. Bush recites the historic presidential oath of office on Jan. 20, much of the world will be able to watch and listen, and the day's events will run smoother thanks to the Verizon Communications network and a special team of over 200 technicians and managers.

Faced with a compressed timeframe due to the delay in certifying the winner of last November's presidential election, Verizon is racing to install over 3,600 circuits - ranging from standard voice lines to special video circuits for television networks - in time for Inauguration Day this Saturday.

"We couldn't start taking orders and installing circuits until the winner of the election was decided," said Paul Henkelman, co-project manager of the special effort for Verizon. "What that left us with was less than half the time we usually have to prepare for an event as complex and significant as the Presidential Inauguration - but we are more than equal to the challenge, and everything will be ready for Saturday."

"We're able to meet the needs of the news media and various agencies - including the Secret Service - due in large part to the extensive and advanced network we already have in place here in Washington, D.C.," added Ramona Green, Verizon co-project manager. "In addition, we have a great team of highly trained and skilled technicians, engineers and other employees from several states."

Verizon already has taken orders for over 2,000 voice telephone lines, 200 special video circuits, 12 audio circuits, 25 high-speed, high-capacity DS-1 data lines, and over 1,400 ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) lines. The orders have come from domestic and international television networks and local television stations, radio networks and local radio stations, and various other broadcast and print news media outlets. Verizon also has taken orders from a variety of federal agencies associated with the inauguration ceremony, the parade, and multiple events - including eight different Inaugural Balls.

In addition to the special circuits, Verizon has installed temporary fiber-optic lines to news media locations on the Capitol grounds and on the National Mall. Also, company technicians are installing a fiber-optic circuit from the bottom to the top of the Washington Monument to accommodate several broadcast outlets. Finally, Verizon has placed temporary pay phones at the Lincoln Memorial for the opening ceremony on Thursday.

"To accomplish such a feat within this short timeframe, we had to draw on a great deal of expertise from many different organizations within Verizon," said Henkelman. "The teamwork on this effort has been tremendous. We'll be watching the event Saturday knowing that the world will be able to share in this special moment thanks to the work of these employees and the Verizon network."

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