Verizon to invest $86 million to expand FiOS TV in Rhode Island

MAY 1, 2008 -- The $86-million investment will extend Verizon's FiOS TV service to an additional 10 communities and expand its Providence-based Fiber Solutions Center, where at least 50 more union-represented technicians and customer service representatives will be hired, say Verizon representatives.

MAY 1, 2008 -- Verizon (search for Verizon) yesterday announced a major capital investment of approximately $86 million in new network technology for Rhode Island in 2008. The plan extends Verizon's FiOS TV (search for FiOS) service to an additional 10 communities and expands its Providence-based Fiber Solutions Center, where at least 50 more union-represented technicians and customer service representatives will be hired. Verizon says a total of 350 new jobs have been created since the center opened in 2006.

The company also will upgrade its Verizon High-Speed Internet Service, based on DSL technology, to eight communities in the Ocean State: Cranston, Hope Valley, Jamestown, Narragansett, Pawtucket, Providence, Tiverton, and Weekapaug.

The new service, featuring download speeds of up to 7 Mbits/sec, more than doubles the speed of Verizon's current highest speed DSL offering and is designed to leapfrog speeds offered by cable companies, note company representatives.

In Rhode Island, FiOS TV is currently available in Coventry, Cranston, East Greenwich, Exeter, Foster, Hopkinton, Johnston, Narragansett, North Kingstown, North Providence, Providence, South Kingstown, Warwick, West Greenwich, and West Warwick. The carrier also has approval to offer the service in Charlestown, Richmond, Scituate, and Westerly and is seeking licenses to offer FiOS TV in Burrillville, Central Falls, Cumberland, East Providence, Glocester, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Smithfield, and Woonsocket. By the end of this year, Verizon expects to offer FiOS TV in all 29 of these communities, reaching an estimatedI80% of Rhode Island households and businesses.

"With this capital investment plan, we are making a major commitment to our customers and our employees in Rhode Island," contends Donna Cupelo, Verizon regional president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. "We believe the time and the climate are right for growing our investments and expanding our technology deployment. We will continue to make significant investments in the Ocean State to expand our world-class network and deliver the innovative and reliable services that Rhode Island residents and businesses have come to expect," she adds.

Cupelo confirms that while competition for phone, super-fast Internet, and cable TV service in Rhode Island is at an all-time high, customer interest in Verizon's triple-play and quadruple-play bundles continues to rise. "Our customers appreciate the reliability of our networks; they trust in the company; and they want the convenience of obtaining all of these services from us in a package that's priced competitively," she asserts. Rhode Island continues to be an important market for us, and we will continue to serve it well."

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