Verizon Invests $325 Million to Upgrade Florida Network During 2000

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TAMPA - Verizon Communications has invested more than $325 million this year to modernize its telecommunications in Florida and provide additional broadband capabilities for its customers in both urban and rural areas, the company announced today. Since 1996, the company has made over $1.5 billion in network improvements in the state.

"There are few industries, if any, in our region investing nearly $1 million per day to keep west central Florida on the leading edge of technology," said John Ferrell, region president, operations, Verizon Florida. "This steady investment, coupled with our dedicated workforce, enables Verizon to provide the best phone service in Florida."

(Editor's note: See related release, "Verizon's Florida Service Results Lead the Way.")

Many of the projects from 2000 provided advanced technology for high trouble areas, strengthened lightning protection and improved service reliability for residential and business customers. Other projects extended the availability of high-speed data transmission services for businesses or added network technology to make DSL (digital subscriber line) high-speed service available in rural and urban parts of the region.

"Our continual investment in our Florida network is good for our customers, good for our employees and good for economic development," said Ferrell. "It demonstrates that Verizon is fully committed to bringing the benefits of communications to all of its Florida customers."
Examples of Verizon's network investment in 2000 include:

  • Some $10 million for fiber-optic upgrades of high capacity data circuits in 130 locations in Florida to increase service reliability. Trouble reports are down by 89 percent in these circuits as a result of the new technology.

  • A $1.1 million upgrade on the 100 most trouble-prone remote customer line units. The upgrades provide better lightning protection and greater reliability. Trouble reports in the upgraded units have been reduced by 73 percent.

  • A $7.8 million investment in 128 Digital Loop Carriers (DLC). These roadside cabinets are located in neighborhoods to serve Verizon's residential customers and the networks used by the region's wireless industry. By adding these facilities, Verizon improved network reliability and reduced the amount of time needed to fill customer orders for certain services (like Caller ID). For the area's wireless carriers, the investment improved service in historically high trouble prone cell sites that link wireless and wire line networks.

  • An investment of $300,000 for the latest "fiber-to-the-curb" technology in Hyde Park. The upgrade provided broadband access and greater reliability to about 400 lines in the neighborhood.

Other network improvements were made to improve the overall reliability of service and to eliminate sources of troubles reported in the past.

Verizon's Florida network serves 2.4 million customer lines in a six-county area. The network covers 357 square miles and features digital switching technology and extensive fiber optic facilities. Verizon averages nearly one million customer contacts per month in Florida, including orders for new service, repair requests and billing inquiries. Nationally, Verizon invests more than $12 billion annually in its telecommunications network, which is one of the most advanced in the world and features an industry-leading 8.3 million miles of fiber-optic systems. The company's network handles more than 1.5 billion calls on an average business day.

Verizon Communications

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 26 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 www.verizon.com .

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