SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - Vermont 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 during 2000.
This year, the company spent more than $68 million to modernize, expand and upgrade the sophisticated
telecommunications network that serves the Green Mountain state.
"We recognize the growing importance of an advanced telecommunications network for Vermont businesses, schools,
libraries and consumers," said Louise McCarren, president of Verizon Vermont. "The good news for Vermont
customers is that we're aggressively investing in our infrastructure while at the same time lowering prices for many of
The funds were used primarily to expand the company's fiber-optic facilities as well as equipping call-routing centers
with the most up-to-date software and hardware. All of Verizon's switching centers throughout the state use the latest
digital technology systems.
Nationwide, Verizon invests more than $12 billion annually in its telecommunications network, which is one of the
most advanced in the world and features an industry leading 8.3 million miles of fiber-optic systems.
In Vermont this year, Verizon added nearly 8,000 miles of fiber-optic cable to its network. The company has installed
over 58,000 miles of fiber-optic cable in the state overall - enough to circle the earth more than twice. 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 also continued its aggressive efforts to open the local telephone market in Vermont, investing in advanced
computer systems and centers to serve wholesale customers. Verizon has led the nation in opening local telephone
markets and satisfying the requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
In Vermont, more than 100 companies have been approved to provide local phone service. Verizon is required to
open local markets before it can gain federal approval to sell long distance in a given state.
In December 1999, Verizon won approval to offer long-distance service in New York, becoming the first regional
Bell company to satisfy federal and state requirements to offer long- distance service in its service area. The result
was significant choice and savings for New York consumers. At year's end, more than 1.2 million New Yorkers are
getting lower prices and clear, surprise-free long-distance calling plans from Verizon. 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 services.
Verizon Vermont plans to seek similar approval next year from the state's regulators and the Federal Communications
Commission to provide long-distance service to Vermont customers.
Verizon Vermont and Verizon Foundation also have provided approximately $350,000 in grants to non-profit
programs throughout Vermont. In addition to the company's financial support, Verizon employees volunteered
thousands of hours to community organizations.
"Verizon and its employees have a long tradition of giving in this state," McCarren said. "We're involved in every
community, and we pride ourselves in being good neighbors. Our commitment to service is a vital part of the Verizon
McCarren noted other company milestones in Vermont during 2000:
- Completed the merger of Bell Atlantic with GTE on June 30, creating Verizon Communications, one of the
world's leading providers of communications services;
- Introduced Verizon Online DSL, a high speed Internet service, to Northwestern Vermont;
- Reduced in-state, long-distance rates for all Vermont customers and lowered monthly basic exchange rates for
all Vermont business customers;
- Began a four-year, $5 million investment in the Vermont Interactive Learning Network, a video conferencing
network for high schools across the state
- Played a key role in attracting Putnam Investments to Vermont and installed the infrastructure which is enabling
Putnam to offer work-at-home jobs in the state;
- Received the Vermont Arts Council Business Award, the Child Care Fund of Vermont's Child Care Counts
Award, the WEB Project's Founder's Award and the City of Burlington's Economic Opportunity Award; and
- Continued building self-healing "SONET" rings in the Burlington and Montpelier areas to assure continuous
service even in the event of a cable break.
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.