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BOSTON -- Massachusetts consumers and businesses continue to be served by one of the most
advanced telecommunications networks in the country, thanks to an aggressive network
investment program by Verizon this year.
The company spent about $800 million to modernize, expand and upgrade the vast
telecommunications network that serves the Bay State.
"As this century dawns, we are justifiably proud of our critical role in assuring that
Massachusetts continues to have one of the nation's most advanced telecommunications
networks," said Verizon Massachusetts President Robert Mudge. "This infrastructure will help
our state, its businesses, schools and consumers thrive in this information-dependent age."
The funds were used primarily to expand the company's fiber-optic facilities. Verizon's 274 call-
routing centers throughout the state already use the latest digital technology systems.
Verizon added more than 90,000 miles of fiber-optic cable in Massachusetts, bringing the state's
overall fiber-optic network to about 700,000 miles - or enough to circle the Earth more than 30
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.
The company has led the nation in opening local telephone markets and satisfying the
requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Late last year, the Federal
Communications Commission approved Verizon's application to sell long distance in New York,
making it the first regional Bell company allowed to sell long distance in its home region. The
result was significant choice and savings for New York consumers. The consumer group TRAC
(Telecommunications Research and Action Center) has estimated that New Yorkers this year
saved approximately $220 million as a result of new choices for both long-distance and local
"We hope and expect that early next year Verizon will have approval to offer Massachusetts
consumers the kind of simple, innovative long-distance plans that have benefited more than one
million New Yorkers just this year," Mudge said.
In Massachusetts, Verizon has aggressively opened the local telephone market, investing heavily
in advanced computer systems and centers to serve wholesale customers. Thus far, at least 91
competitors -- including the three major long-distance companies -- have entered the market and
now sell local phone service over more than 800,000 phone lines. Through some 1600
agreements with Verizon, competitors have access to about 95 percent of the residence
customers and 96 percent of the business customers in the state.
Based on the overwhelming evidence, Verizon's application to provide long-distance service in
the Bay State in October gained the backing of the Massachusetts Department of
Telecommunications and Energy. However, the company withdrew its application to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) Dec. 18 when there were concerns that all parties had not
had an adequate opportunity to comment on the extensive evidence provided by Verizon.
Verizon expects to refile with the FCC in early January.
Mudge noted other milestones the company achieved in Massachusetts during 2000:
- Completed the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE to become Verizon Communications, one of the world's leading providers of communications services.
- Expanded the availability of Verizon Online DSL, its high-speed Internet access service, to
188 communities throughout the state. DSL provides a dedicated connection to the Internet with
no dialing, no busy signals and no waiting.
- Continued its streak of meeting or exceeding the state's stringent service measurements to 63
- Provided schools and other charitable organizations throughout Massachusetts with $3.5
million in philanthropic grants and matching-aid contributions from Verizon Foundation.
- Added approximately 450 union-represented employees, bringing the company's employment
to 18,600 statewide. Verizon continues to be the largest private employer in the state.
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