SEATTLE - In a move to bolster communications competition in downtown Seattle, Verizon will soon offer a wide range of data transport services to large business and government customers in the central business district over its own facilities. The company is in the final stages of preparing and testing a state-of-the-art fiber-optic network for customer traffic and will launch the service in January 2002.
Verizon will compete directly with Qwest Communications, the dominant local service provider, for the business of customers who have extensive bandwidth and specialized communications needs and require extremely robust communications infrastructure. This move represents the company's second "facilities-based" expansion beyond its traditional serving area during the past six months. In July of this year, Verizon announced that it would compete against SBC Communications and expanded its network to serve customers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
"Large business and government customers in Seattle and across the country are looking for more communications competition that gives them reliable options. Verizon intends to be that competition and provide those options," said Eduardo R. Menascé, president, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group. "By extending our existing network into downtown Seattle, we are able to offer connectivity to locations across Puget Sound, across the country and beyond."
Initially, Verizon will offer dedicated high-speed, high-capacity data transport services such as synchronous optical network (SONET) and dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) over the new network. Verizon will also provide additional data services such as frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), as well as long distance calling and data services and managed network solutions. In addition, the company will offer its full suite of IP-based data services. As customer demand and market conditions dictate, Verizon will introduce local switched-based voice services, completing its suite of communications products and services.
To extend its presence into downtown Seattle, Verizon contracted for the construction of four fiber-optic rings. The company has the ability to expand that number to quickly meet market demand. This network, consisting of nearly 150 miles of fiber-optic cable, permits the company to reach more than 80 percent of the potential customer base located in Seattle's central business district. Fully secure and redundant with multiple links to its core network, Verizon will now carry customer traffic over a communications infrastructure that is operated and maintained by Verizon. Various providers of fiber-optic facilities have been utilized to build the new network for Verizon.
Downtown Seattle and the Puget Sound area contain 15 Fortune 1000 headquarters, as well as more than 7,000 additional customer sites. Annual expenditures on communications products and services are estimated at more than $1.5 billion. To support its push into downtown Seattle, Verizon has a dedicated implementation team to assist new customers in transitioning their service onto the company's network.
"For more than three decades, Verizon has been a leading provider of high quality, customer-driven communications services in the greater Puget Sound area," said Shelley Murphy, general manager - branch operations, sales, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group. "Our expansion into the Seattle central business district underscores our commitment to the entire region and meets the needs of the business community, government entities and education institutions by offering an alternative communications provider that will be here tomorrow and far into the future."
The ability of the company to expand its existing network infrastructure is a direct result of the increased scope and scale Verizon derived from the June 2000 merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE. By adopting best practices from each predecessor company and analyzing market expansion opportunities that make best use of its existing network facilities, operations and customer base, Verizon identified three initial markets for facilities-based expansion - Dallas, Seattle and Los Angeles. Lessons learned from the current round of expansion activity will be used with the established criteria to identify future potential markets for network extension.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group manages the design, operation and maintenance of end-to-end total network integrated solutions for large business and government customers across the United States. With over 15,000 employees in 46 states, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group offers a complete range of basic and advanced communications products and services to meet the voice, video, data and IP-related needs of its customers. For more information on products and services available through Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group, please visit www.verizon.com/enterprisesolutions.
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.