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WILMINGTON, Del. -- Delaware consumers and businesses are served by one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in the country, thanks to an aggressive network investment program by Verizon Delaware during 2000.
The company spent about $90 million this year to expand and upgrade its advanced Delaware telecommunications infrastructure. This brings the company's network investment in Delaware to nearly $500 million since 1995.
"As we begin the 21st century, Verizon Delaware is building a telecommunications network that is second to none," said Joshua W. Martin III, president of Verizon Delaware. "Our investment in the network of the future positions Delaware to be competitive nationally and globally, to grow existing jobs and attract new ones."
Verizon Delaware's network investment in 2000 was primarily used to expand the company's fiber-optic facilities, especially in rural areas. Verizon added more than 45,000 miles of fiber throughout Delaware this year, bringing the overall fiber-optic network in the state to about 130,000 miles -- enough to circle the earth more than five times. 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 transmitted over the network.
"The net result of our continuing network investment in Delaware is that our customers receive higher quality, more reliable phone service," said Martin. "They also will have access to myriad future telecommunications services and applications that will enhance the quality of life for all Delaware citizens," Martin said.
Martin noted other milestones for Verizon in Delaware during 2000:
- Bell Atlantic and GTE merged to become Verizon Communications, one of the worlds leading providers of communications services.
- Verizon provided additional Lifeline phone service credits to eligible low-income customers, one of the first benefits of the merger between Bell Atlantic and GTE.
- 711 Service was introduced. This service enables hearing- and speech-impaired customers to reach the Delaware Relay Service by dialing only three digits - 711. The relay service assists them in communicating with other customers.
- Verizon deployed more than 65 "SONET" fiber-optic rings throughout the state. SONET technology automatically reroutes data and voice transmissions in the event of a service disruption, enhancing the reliability of Verizon's telecommunications network.
- Verizon Foundation continued its support of Delaware education initiatives, including significant grants to the Boys and Girls Clubs for tutoring programs and the Delaware Community Foundation to fund community-based technology programs. The foundation also sponsored the 24 Math Challenge, a statewide math competition in which 40,000 school children participated during the year.
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 .