"The people of Danville and Roanoke now have, in effect, a six-lane superhighway to the world," said Robert Woltz, president of Verizon Virginia. "We're installing fiber-optics at an incredible pace throughout the state, but the scope of this particular project overshadows all the others."
Verizon launched work on its Danville-to-Roanoke link in July 1999. Some 21 months later technicians finished their final splices on the job, which costs $2.3 million.
The new cable provides an alternate, high-speed path for calls and data traffic coming into and out of Danville. Previously, such calls had to be routed through Lynchburg or Richmond.
"We're building redundancy into our network at every opportunity as a safeguard for our customers," Woltz said. He explained that alternate routes, like the one from Danville to Roanoke, help protect customers from the possibility of downtime in the event of a cut cable or other disruption to the network.
Not only will Danville benefit from the new cable, but so too will customers throughout the Roanoke-Lynchburg-Danville triangle. In the event a cable linking Roanoke and Lynchburg is cut or damaged, calls can be routed through Danville and on to Lynchburg without the caller even being aware of a disruption. Likewise, a call from Lynchburg to Danville can be routed through Roanoke if need be.
Verizon's new cable passes through part of the U.S. 58 corridor west of Danville, and then north into Roanoke.
The cable contains 72 glass fibers, each having a diameter about the size of a human hair. Pulses of laser light surge through the fibers carrying vast amounts of information. A single fiber can carry tens of thousands of telephone conversations at one time.
However, most of the information speeding along the new cable is not in the form of conversations, but is usually data. With the explosion in Internet usage, Verizon's sophisticated network now handles far more data than traditional voice traffic.
With this latest link in place, Verizon now has over one million miles of fiber optics criss-crossing Virginia.
"More fiber is going in all the time," Woltz said. "We're proud to have one of the most sophisticated telecommunications networks to be found anywhere."
Verizon plans to invest over $900 million this year in Virginia, much of which is earmarked for upgrades to existing infrastructure.
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 nearly 109 million access line equivalents and more than 27.5 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the world's largest provider of print and online directory information. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $63 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.