Verizon Wins Telephony Magazine Innovation Award for Aggressively Deploying GPON, Most Powerful Fiber-Optic Transmission Technology in Use Today

NEW YORK - Verizon's aggressive deployment of the most powerful fiber-optic transmission technology in use today, supporting services over its fiber-to-the-home network, has earned the company a Telephony Magazine Innovation Award. The award was presented today.

In accepting the award, Verizon announced that by year-end it will deploy the transmission technology - known as the gigabit passive optical network, or GPON - to nearly 200 of the company's switching centers serving 3.3 million potential customers. GPON, which Verizon began deploying in December 2007, is capable of delivering broadband services at 2.4 gigabits per second (Gbps) downstream and 1.2 Gbps upstream, further improving on the market-dominating speeds of Broadband Passive Optical Network (BPON) technology already deployed by Verizon.

Mark Wegleitner, senior vice president of technology for Verizon, said, "The Telephony innovation award is a gratifying acknowledgement of what has been our fiber-to-the-home strategy from the start: To make aggressive technology choices that can provide forward-looking end-user services and a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace. We thank Telephony Magazine for this recognition.

"GPON enables the kind of customer experience we believe the exploding broadband and entertainment markets require, both today and tomorrow," he said. "Both GPON and BPON deliver the kind of reliable, high-capacity service our customers want from our FiOS products."

In presenting the award, Carol Wilson, editor-in-chief of Telephony, said, "Our judges were impressed by the commitment Verizon has made to deploying the latest in Passive Optical Network (PON) technology on a scale unmatched in North America and elsewhere.  Innovation comes in many forms, and in this instance, Verizon is being rewarded for its broader vision of the next-generation access network."

According to Paul Tassinari, vice president of network planning for Verizon, the nearly 200 switching centers in 12 states where GPON is being deployed will grow to 400 wire centers by the end of 2009.  All new wire center deployments of passive optical network technology are GPON-enabled, he said.  Combined, GPON and BPON technologies will pass more than 12 million homes by year-end 2008.  More than 40 percent of homes passed by fiber will be served by GPON technology by the end of next year, rising to 50 percent in 2010, Tassinari reported.

Verizon is the only company of its size offering services over fiber optic technology straight to customer homes.  Verizon's commitment to fiber technology not only offers the broadest range of service options, but will save the company an estimated $1 billion annually in operating and maintenance expenses from 2010 onward.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.