Verizon Communications is investing $2.9 million to modernize and expand its local telecommunications network in Western New York. The company is installing more than 6,500 miles of fiber-optic cable -- the total distance of the fibers in the cables were placed end to end -- as well as electronic equipment in Erie and Niagara counties.
Fiber-optic systems use hair-thin glass strands and digital technology to deliver high-quality telephone services along with high-capacity/high-speed voice and data services.
About 2,700 miles of fiber will be installed to expand network capacity and high-speed connections between various communities within Erie County, including the City of Buffalo, Clarence, Clarence Center and Akron. Another 2,600 miles of fiber will be installed later this year to expand high-speed network connections between Erie and Genesee counties. The fiber-optic lines also will increase network reliability within the region. Verizon also will complete installation of about 1,150 miles of fiber within the City of Niagara Falls to increase capacity and reliability of telephone and data connections there.
Verizon is investing $1.2 million to upgrade and install new air-pressure technology on underground cable systems to reduce service interruptions. Air-pressure monitoring equipment will be installed on underground cables in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Amherst and Lockport. Many of Verizon's underground cables are pressurized to prevent water from leaking into the cables and interrupting service. With the new monitors, a loss of air pressure can be immediately detected and repaired before water damages the wires in the cables. The air-pressure technology is especially useful in regions where underground cables are subjected to heavy rainfalls and melting snow.
Work on the various projects will be completed by the end of the year.
Verizon has made strides in deploying advanced technology in its New York network:
* Annual spending on Verizon's New York network topped $2 billion in 2000. The company's investments since 1995 now total more than $10.2 billion.
* Miles of fiber-optic cable in New York state increased to more than 1.2 million in 2000, up from about 715,000 in 1995.
* All 586 Verizon call-routing centers throughout the state use the latest digital technology systems.
* Verizon Online DSL (digital subscriber line) service was launched in New York in the summer of 1999. DSL is a high-speed connection to the Internet that enables users to connect to cyberspace at speeds significantly faster than current analog modems. Today, Verizon has 840,000 DSL lines in service nationwide.
Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) is a provider of communications services. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.