PHILADELPHIA -- Pennsylvania consumers and businesses are served by one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in the country, thanks to an aggressive investment program by Verizon that continued during 2001.
The company also marked a milestone in September when it won federal approval to offer long-distance service to Pennsylvanians.
Last year, Verizon spent nearly $1 billion -- more than $2.6 million a day -- to modernize, expand and upgrade the sophisticated telecommunications network that serves Pennsylvanians.
"A robust, modern telecommunications network is essential to success in the information economy," said Daniel J. Whelan, president and CEO of Verizon Pennsylvania. "Verizon's investment in its Pennsylvania infrastructure is an investment in the economic future of the state."
Verizon's capital investment this year was used primarily to expand the company's fiber-optic and other cable facilities, as well as to increase the capacity and reliability of several of the company's call-routing centers. 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 Pennsylvania last year, Verizon added more than 84,500 miles of fiber optics to its network. The company has more than 1.1 million miles of fiber optics in the state overall -- enough to circle the earth nearly 45 times. Fiber-optic systems use laser-generated light pulses and digital technology to provide greater capacity, higher transmission speeds and better quality for voice, video and data transmitted over the network.
Verizon jumped into the Pennsylvania long-distance market last fall with simple, innovative plans featuring competitive rates without the pricing gimmicks common to many long-distance providers. "More than 150,000 customers have signed up since Oct. 23 for long-distance calling plans that meet their needs and are easy to understand," Whelan said.
Since December 1999, Verizon also has won FCC approval to offer long-distance service in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The results are added choice and significant savings for customers in Pennsylvania and those states, where millions are getting lower prices and clear, surprise-free, long-distance calling plans from Verizon.
Verizon plans to obtain FCC approval to offer long-distance service in the remaining states it serves this year.
During 2001, Verizon also:
- Expanded the reach of Verizon Online DSL (digital subscriber line) in Pennsylvania. About half of Verizon's total lines in the state now are qualified for the high-speed Internet access service.
- Introduced several new services, including Call Intercept and Internet Call Manager. Call Intercept screens customers' incoming calls when callers fail to identify themselves and enables users to decide if they want to receive calls from others who do announce themselves. Internet Call Manager, available now in southeastern Pennsylvania, alerts customers of incoming phone calls when they're online.
- Continued building self-healing "SONET" (synchronous optical network) rings throughout Pennsylvania to assure continuous service even in the event a communications cable is damaged or destroyed. SONET rings automatically reroute telecommunications traffic in the other direction so that service is not affected.
- Continued to introduce popular calling features such as Caller ID, Busy Redial and Call Block to customers in the former GTE service area of Pennsylvania. Some of these features, which give customers greater control over their communications services, now are available to more than 99 percent of former GTE customers in the state. The features already are available to all former Bell Atlantic customers in Pennsylvania.
Verizon Pennsylvania and Verizon Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, provided nearly $2.5 million in grants to support literacy, workforce development and community technology development initiatives throughout the commonwealth in 2001. Priority was given to funding e-literacy programs that assist children, adults, disadvantaged and disabled individuals in schools, community centers and after-school programs.
Last year, Verizon's corporate citizenship in Pennsylvania was recognized by:
- The Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence, which honor organizations, businesses and individuals for positively impacting Pennsylvania's environment. Verizon won two awards for education and outreach and resource protection.
- The PENJERDEL Council, an economic development organization for the region encompassing southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware. Verizon received the council's 2001 Company of the Year Award.
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.