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SUN PRAIRIE, Wisc. - Verizon Communications spent a record $95 million last year to expand and upgrade its telecommunications network in Wisconsin. Since 1996, the company has invested over $411 million in network improvements in the state.
"Verizon, like its predecessor GTE, is committed to ensuring that Wisconsin customers have a telecommunications network that is among the very finest in the nation," said John Dudley, Great Lakes region president for Verizon. "Our investment exceeds what many other Wisconsin telecommunications providers are doing in the state."
Verizon, which serves more than 400,000 customers in Wisconsin, pumped $1.8 million a week into its Wisconsin infrastructure last year.
"Verizon is building a telecommunications network in the state that is second to none," said Craig Lilley, general manager-customer operations for Verizon in Wisconsin. "Our investment positions Wisconsin as a national and global competitor that can grow existing and attract new jobs."
Verizon's network investment in 2000 was used primarily to expand and enhance the company's digital switching and fiber-optic facilities. Verizon spent more than $4 million on its fiber-optic network throughout Wisconsin, bringing the overall fiber-optic network in the state to more than 2,000 miles. Fiber-optic systems use laser-generated light pulses and digital technology to provide greater capacity, higher transmission speeds and better quality voice, data and video services.
The company also invested more than $6 million to replace older digital switching equipment at four communities serving some 13,000 customer lines.
"The net result of our continuing network investment in Wisconsin is that our customers receive higher quality, more reliable phone service," said Lilley. "This also helps provide access to an array of broadband telecommunications services and applications that will enhance the quality of life for everyone in Wisconsin," Lilley said.
Here are other milestones last year for Verizon in Wisconsin:
- Bell Atlantic and GTE merged to become Verizon Communications, the nation's leading provider of communications services.
- Verizon invested $1.4 million to expand the BadgerNet video distance-learning network. BadgerNet provides next generation voice, data and video service to all Wisconsin State agencies, local governments, University of Wisconsin campuses, technical colleges, private colleges and universities, public and private K-12 schools, libraries and others in the state.
- Verizon Foundation continued its support of Wisconsin's educational initiatives, funding nearly $325,000 in grants during 2000. Significant grants included gifts to: the T.B. Scott Free Library in Merrill for the purchase of adaptive technology for residents with visual or learning challenges; Dane County's United Way for a program that provides elementary schools with backpacks containing literature, reading activities and family projects, and Pecatonica Elementary School to underwrite a community-wide technology learning project.
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.