NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey consumers and businesses are served by one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in the country, thanks to an aggressive network investment program by Verizon during 2001.
The company spent more than $1 billion to modernize, expand and upgrade the vast telecommunications network and systems that serve the Garden State.
The funds were used primarily to expand the company's fiber-optic facilities and to continue adding the latest technology to Verizon's 214 call-routing centers throughout the state.
"Verizon's state-of the-art network provides our New Jersey customers with the benefits of the latest telecommunications applications and unsurpassed reliability," said Verizon New Jersey President Dennis M. Bone.
Nationwide, Verizon invests more than $11 billion annually in its wireline telecommunications network, which is one of the most advanced in the world and features an industry-leading 8.3 million miles of fiber-optic facilities.
In New Jersey, Verizon added more than 100,000 miles of fiber-optic cable this year. This brings Verizon New Jersey's overall fiber-optic network to 1.5 million miles -- or enough to circle the Earth more than 60 times. Fiber-optic systems use laser-generated light pulses and digital technology to provide greater capacity, more diversity of routing, higher transmission speeds and better quality for voice, video and data transmitted over the network.
"Verizon's state-of -the-art telecommunications continues to position New Jersey for future economic growth," Bone said. "We are proud of our role in bringing the benefits of telecommunications to every corner of New Jersey."
In a move that will bring New Jersey residents and businesses the benefits of all-out competition for their telecommunications services, Verizon Communications on Dec. 20 filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer long-distance in New Jersey. The FCC has until March 20 to decide.
Consumers in New Jersey would save as much as $18.44 per month in long-distance charges alone if Verizon is allowed to enter the long-distance market, according to an independent study by the Telecommunications Research and Action Center (www.trac.org.)The study projects annual savings for New Jersey consumers of between $22 million and $167 million on their long-distance bills in the first year after Verizon enters the market. Low-volume and daytime callers, including low-income and elderly residents, would see most of these savings.
"New Jersey consumers deserve the competitive savings their neighbors in New York and Pennsylvania enjoy, " said Bone. "As in those neighboring states, Verizon's entry into long distance will stimulate real competition, not only in long distance, but also in local service. "
Verizon has opened its network and systems in New Jersey to competition by investing in advanced computer systems and providing space for competitors' equipment in Verizon's switching centers throughout the state. Competitors now have access to nearly 90 percent of Verizon's residential lines and more than 94 percent of Verizon's business lines can be accessed by competitors through arrangements in which their equipment is collocated in Verizon's switching offices. There are about 100 active competitive local exchange carries (CLECs). Verizon is required to open its local markets before it can gain federal approval to sell long distance in a given state.
In 2001, Verizon continued its partnership with the state to provide New Jersey's K-12 students with video portals.
More than 200 schools in the state have registered to use the video portal, which enables schools around the state to hold live, interactive classes for students statewide without incurring long-distance charges. Verizon is the first local phone company to deliver broadband, video services on a large scale to schools across long-distance boundaries under a provision of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The portal is part of Verizon's Access New Jersey program that delivers advanced technology to the state's K-12 schools and public libraries.
Verizon has connected 2,300 schools and libraries in the state to its advanced telecommunications network, providing availability to the benefits of the Internet. Verizon has provided the schools and libraries with more than $32 million in free equipment and more than $34 million in service discounts.
"We want to help ensure that the children of New Jersey have the educational opportunities they will need to prepare them for the 21st century," said Bone.
Bone noted other milestones the company achieved in New Jersey during 2001:
- Expanded availability of its high-speed Internet access service, Verizon Online DSL (digital subscriber line), to additional communities in New Jersey. DSL is now available on nearly 4.4 million phone lines, more than half of the lines Verizon serves in New Jersey. DSL provides a dedicated connection to the Internet with no dialing, no busy signals and no waiting.
- Provided $2 million in grants through Verizon Foundation to support technology initiatives for students, seniors, the arts and job training programs. The foundation provided scholarships for the 14 independent colleges in New Jersey through the state's Independent College Fund.
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 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.