BALTIMORE - With the construction of Verizon's fiber-optic network in more Maryland communities, residents in parts of Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties soon will experience one of the most significant advancements in telecommunications technology in the past 100 years.
The company's new fiber-optic network will deliver faster data speeds and crystal-clear voice to customers - and also has the capability to offer a full suite of future video services. Verizon launched its fiber-optic network in Maryland last year in Montgomery County and is offering high-speed Internet service in several communities on this network. The company will seek a franchise agreement from local authorities before offering cable service in a particular community.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime transformation of the communications network serving our Maryland communities," said William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland.
Known as fiber-to-the-premises, or FTTP, the fiber-optic network uses hair-thin strands of fiber and optical electronics to directly link homes and businesses to Verizon's network. The new network replaces the traditional copper-wire connections and will unleash a range of advanced communications services.
"We are building the communications network of the future to provide customers unmatched network reliability, incredible speed and exciting new options for voice, data and video connections," said Roberts. "Our FTTP project will help stimulate economic development and enhance each county's reputation as a great place to live and do business."
Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson said, "I am very pleased that Prince George's County has been selected as one of the first counties in the state and nation to receive this fiber-optic network. Our citizens, residents and businesses will benefit from this significant advancement that will allow them to have faster and clearer voice and video. We see this as a strategic advantage for our county and will add to the economic renaissance - both residential and commercial - that is currently going on in Prince George's County. I commend the management of Verizon for taking this step to greatly improve and upgrade communications in the county."
Verizon is building its fiber network in a number of locations in the four counties, including Annapolis, Arden on the Severn, Arnold, Bowie, Brink, Boyds, Brookeville, Burtonsville, Cabin John, Chevy Chase View, Claggettsville, Clarksburg, Cloverly, Columbia, Crofton, Crownsville, Damascus, Dorrs Corner, Fairland, Forest Glen, Four Corners, Gambrills, Garrett Park, Germantown, Glen Echo, Glenmont, Glenn Dale, Guilford, Herald Harbor, Kensington, Kettering, Laurel, Milestone Subdivision, Millersville, Mitchellville, North Bethesda, North Silver Spring, Oakmont, Old Mill, Olney, Parole, Pointer Ridge, Pooks Hill, Potomac, Severna Park, Shipley's Choice, Silver Spring, Spencerville, Wheaton, White Oak and Woodmore.
"This will be a powerful tool for our residents, small businesses and our Gold Coast in this digital age," said Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens.
Howard County Executive James N. Robey said, "It is exciting to be chosen as one of the locations where the future of technology is about to unfold. The multiple advantages Verizon's new fiber-optic network can bring to residents and businesses further enhance the benefits of living and working in Howard County. We look forward to helping Verizon deliver this product to its customers."
As this FTTP construction continues, one of Verizon's three contractors in this area - CableCom LLC, NTI LLC, and S & N Communications - will notify residents in advance when construction is scheduled to begin in their neighborhoods. To lessen inconvenience and reduce the impact on local streets, Verizon and its contractors use the latest installation techniques and existing underground cable pathways or utility poles, or both, whenever possible. Residents can call their respective contractor toll-free with any construction questions: CableCom LLC (800-322-6852); NTI LLC (866-796-7770); and S & N Communications (800-757-6842).
Although the use of fiber optics is common for long-distance and inter-city communications throughout the telecommunications industry, Verizon is one of the first major telecom companies to begin using it to directly connect homes and businesses to the network on a widespread scale.
In addition to Maryland, Verizon is building its FTTP network in half the states where it offers landline communications services. Locally, hundreds of Verizon technicians have learned to install the fiber-based network facilities required to bring advanced data services to customers at the company's Odenton FTTP training center.
Fiber offers tremendous advantages to network operators, in addition to new and superior services for customers. For example, fiber offers reliable service in stretches of wet weather that can affect copper-based networks.
"Verizon's fully fiber-optic network is technically superior to other communication platforms because it offers faster data speeds than those currently available, as well as voice and future video capability," said David R. Magnant, Verizon market area president for Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. "Our fiber engineering creates a network that requires less day-to-day maintenance and allows for faster repairs."
Customer reaction to Verizon's new fiber-based Internet access service, called FiOS (FYE'-ose), has been very positive, with broadband subscribers more than doubling in the company's inaugural FiOS market of Keller, Texas, just outside Dallas/Fort Worth. In Maryland, FiOS Internet Service currently is available to many Montgomery County residential customers.
Verizon will notify customers when FiOS is available locally. For more information on FiOS Internet Service, customers can visit www.verizon.net/fios.
"FiOS has been an extraordinary hit with our first customers," said Magnant. "People are literally lining up to get what they know is a fantastic service at an excellent price. The need for speed and the ability to take advantage of bandwidth-intensive applications remain a top priority for all computer users."
There are three tiers of Verizon FiOS Internet Service for consumers, with downstream (download) speeds of up to 5, 15 and 30 Mbps (megabits per second).*
5 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream. Suited for Internet surfing and basic computer functions. $34.95 a month as part of a calling package, or $39.95 a month stand-alone.
- 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream. Appealing to families who have multiple computers and various needs such as media downloads and the ability to access or share large files. $44.95 a month as part of a calling package, or $49.95 a month stand-alone.
- 30 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream. Designed for communications-intensive power users with significant bandwidth needs, such as telecommuters or work-at-home households and avid online gamers. $179.95 a month as part of a calling package, or $199.95 a month stand-alone.
The FTTP initiative represents a natural extension of the more than 10 million miles of fiber-optic cable Verizon already has in place and extends the high capacity, speed and quality of fiber directly to the customer's doorstep. With FTTP technology, Verizon easily can add more capacity, higher speeds or future video services.
Verizon's digital subscriber line (DSL) service will remain the company's most widely available form of high-speed Internet access for the foreseeable future while the company ramps up FTTP deployment. The company offers DSL on a widespread basis throughout Maryland.
*NOTE: Actual (throughput) speeds will vary.
With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.