RICHMOND, Va. - Verizon will soon bring to parts of the Richmond area one of the most significant advancements in telecommunications technology in the past 100 years.
The company today announced plans to build a fiber-optic network that will deliver faster data speeds and crystal-clear voice to residence and business customers here - and also has the capability to offer a full suite of future video services. The company will seek a franchise agreement from the local authority before offering cable service in a particular community.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime transformation of the communications network serving the Richmond area," said Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia.
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 communication 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 Woltz. "Our FTTP project will help stimulate economic development and enhance the area's reputation as a great place to live and do business."
Verizon has begun or will be building its FTTP network in a number of locations in and around the City of Richmond and neighboring Chesterfield and Henrico counties.
In Chesterfield County: Ashbrook, Deer Run, Woodlake Parkway, Brandermill Parkway, Timber Bluff Parkway, Hampton Park Drive, Bayhill Pointe, Bailey Bridge Road.
In Henrico County: Britton Hill, Springfield Road, Innsbrook and Three Chopt west of Parham Road.
In Richmond: the Fan, Brookland Parkway, Laburnum Park, portions of the West End, including the Byrd Park area.
One of Verizon's two contractors in this area, Ivy H. Smith Co. or S&N Communications, will notify residents with letters and door-hangers before it begins construction 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 may call their respective contractor with any construction questions. Ivy H. Smith Co. can be reached toll-free on 800-768-8831, and S&N Communications can be reached toll-free on 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.
Verizon is building its FTTP network in half the states where it offers landline communications services. In Virginia, FTTP construction also is under way in parts of Northern and Eastern Virginia.
To help build the network across the country, Verizon will hire between 3,000 and 5,000 new employees by the end of this year, including hundreds in Virginia. Locally, Verizon technicians are learning how to install the fiber-based network facilities required to bring advanced data services to customers at the company's FTTP training center in Sandston.
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 currently available, as well as voice and future video capability," said David R. Magnant, Verizon market area president for Virginia, Maryland 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. FiOS Internet Service currently is available to many Northern Virginia 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. People are literally lining up to get what they know is a fantastic service at an excellent price," said Magnant. "The need for speed and ability to take advantage of bandwidth-intensive applications remain a top priority for all computer users."
- 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 that 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.
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).*
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 can easily 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 Virginia.
*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.