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"Verizon" redirects here. This article is about the corporation; see also Verizon Business, Verizon Wireless, Verizon Online DSL and Verizon FiOS.


South face of Verizon Building in 2005
Verizon Communications Inc. ( ) is an Americanmarker broadband and telecommunications company and a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It was formed in 1983 as Bell Atlantic as part of the 1984 breakup into seven Baby Bells. Prior to its transformation into Verizon, Bell Atlantic had merged with another Regional Bell Operating Company, NYNEX, in 1997. The name is a portmanteau of veritas and horizon. The company's headquarters are located at 140 West Streetmarker in Lower Manhattan, New York Citymarker.

History

Verizon was founded as Bell Atlantic Corporation by AT&T Corporation as one of seven Baby Bells that were formed due to an anti-trust judgement against them. It then inherited one of the seven Bell Operating Companies from American Telephone & Telegraph Company (later known as AT&T Corp.) following its breakup. Bell Atlantic's original roster of operating companies included:

Bell Atlantic originally operated in the U.S. states of New Jerseymarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, Delawaremarker, Marylandmarker, West Virginiamarker, and Virginiamarker, as well as Washington, D.C.marker

In 1994, Bell Atlantic became the first Regional Bell Operating Company to entirely drop the original names of its original operating companies. Ameritech and NYNEX (and SBC Communications in 2002) simply added d/b/a names to its operating companies; U S West and BellSouth had merged their operating companies. Operating company titles were simplified to:
Bell Atlantic logo, 1984–1997.
Bell Atlantic logo, 1997–2000.
  • Bell Atlantic—Delaware, Inc.
  • Bell Atlantic—Maryland, Inc.
  • Bell Atlantic—New Jersey, Inc.
  • Bell Atlantic—Pennsylvania, Inc.
  • Bell Atlantic—Virginia, Inc.
  • Bell Atlantic—Washington, D.C., Inc.
  • Bell Atlantic—West Virginia, Inc.


In 1996, CEO and Chairman Raymond W. Smith orchestrated Bell Atlantic's merger with NYNEX. When it merged, it moved its corporate headquarters from Philadelphiamarker to New York Citymarker. NYNEX was consolidated into this name by 1997.

Prior to its merger with GTE, Bell Atlantic traded on the New York Stock Exchangemarker (NYSE) under the "BEL" symbol.

GTE merger

Bell Atlantic acquired GTE on June 30, 2000 and changed its name to Verizon Communications Inc. It was among the largest mergers in United States business history. It was the result of a definitive merger agreement, dated July 27, 1998, between Bell Atlantic, based in New York City since the merger with NYNEX in 1996, and GTE, which was in the process of moving its headquarters from Stamford, Connecticutmarker, to Irving, Texasmarker.

The Bell Atlantic–GTE merger, priced at more than $52 billion at the time of the announcement, closed nearly two years later, following analysis and approvals by Bell Atlantic and GTE shareowners, 27 state regulatory commissions and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and clearance from the United States Department of Justicemarker (DoJ) and various international agencies.

The merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, to form Verizon Communications, became effective on June 30, 2000, with an exchange ratio of 1.22 shares of Verizon Communications Common Stock for each share of GTE Common Stock owned. Fractional shares resulting from the exchange of GTE stock into Verizon Communications shares were sold at a price of $55.00 per share. Verizon began trading on the NYSE under its new "VZ" symbol on Monday, July 3, 2000.

Meanwhile, on September 21, 1999, Bell Atlantic and UK-based Vodafone AirTouch Plc (now Vodafone Group Plc) announced that they had agreed to create a new wireless business with a national footprint, a single brand and a common digital technology – composed of Bell Atlantic's and Vodafone's U.S. wireless assets (Bell Atlantic Mobile (which was previously called Bell Atlantic-NYNEX Mobile by 1997), AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications, and AirTouch Paging).This wireless joint venture received regulatory approval in six months, and began operations as Verizon Wireless on April 4, 2000, kicking off the new "Verizon" brand name. GTE's wireless operations became part of Verizon Wireless – creating what was initially the nation's largest wireless company before Cingular Wireless acquired AT&T Wireless in 2004 – when the Bell Atlantic–GTE merger closed nearly three months later. Verizon then became the majority owner (55%) of Verizon Wireless.

Genuity was formerly the Internet division of GTE Corp and spun off in 2000.Level 3 Communications acquired the assets of the bankrupt ISP in 2002 for only $137 million; a bargain-basement price considering the $616 million that a pre-Bell Atlantic-merger GTE paid for Genuity (then BBN Planet) in 1997.

Merger effects

Note this section refers to land lines only, as Verizon Wireless operates nationwide.

Verizon shares were made a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average on April 8, 2004. Verizon currently has 140.3 million land lines in service. With the MCI merger, it has more than 250,000 employees. Verizon serves customers throughout much of the United Statesmarker. The primary states that it provides service to include:

Verizon tower Philadelphia
These states are served by the following renamed Bell Operating Companies:
  • Verizon Delaware, Inc. – Also serves a portion of southeastern Pennsylvaniamarker
  • Verizon Maryland, Inc.
  • Verizon New England Telephone & Telegraph, Inc. – noted with a (*)
  • Verizon New Jersey, Inc.
  • Verizon New York Telephone, Inc. – Also serves Southwestern Connecticutmarker
  • Verizon Pennsylvania, Inc.
  • Verizon Virginia, Inc.
  • Verizon Washington, D.C., Inc.
  • Verizon West Virginia, Inc.


(**) Also served by GTE operating companies (refer below)

It also provides service to secondary markets (mostly from its acquisition of GTE) in:

These states are served by these operating companies:

Many Verizon New England operations were sold to FairPoint Communications on April 1, 2008. Markets included:

Due to the rigorous climate and high costs, GTE Alaskamarker was sold to Alaska Power and Telephone Company rather than be merged with Verizon.

Verizon also owns stakes in some international communications companies, most notably 23.14% of Vodafone Italy. On April 3, 2006 Verizon agreed to sell its stakes in Verizon Dominicana (operating in the Dominican Republicmarker), CANTV of Venezuela, and Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc. (PRT) in Puerto Rico to Telmex and América Móvil for $3.7 billion. Verizon's other international investment is 50% ownership of Gibraltarmarker NYNEX Communications.

In 2002, Verizon sold GTE's former telephone operations in 3 states: Missourimarker and Alabamamarker operations were sold to CenturyTel, and Kentuckymarker operations were sold to Alltel, which later spun off its landline operations as Windstream. In 2005, Verizon sold off GTE's former telephone operations in Hawaiimarker to The Carlyle Group, This operation is now known as Hawaiian Telcom. January 16, 2007, Verizon's operations in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are going to be split off into a new Bell Operating Company, spun off, and merged with FairPoint Communications. On May 13, 2009, Verizon announced it was selling all of Verizon's wireline assets in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin as well as some assets in California to Frontier Communications.

MCI acquisition

MCI logo, 2003-2006.


On February 14, 2005, Verizon agreed to acquire MCI, formerly WorldCom, after SBC Communications agreed to acquire AT&T Corp. just a few weeks earlier.

Media coverage has focused on several ways in which that acquisition, once completed, would benefit Verizon, including economies of scale derived from a potential productivity boost to be achieved via the elimination of thousands of jobs at the combined company, and access to the large base of business customers currently served by MCI. The real benefit to Verizon was the acquisition of long-haul lines. The bulk of Verizon's business is concentrated in the eastern United States. This not only renders the company, effectively, a regional phone company, but also forces it to pay usage fees to long-haul carriers, such as former MCI, to complete calls for its customers whenever those calls go outside the Verizon "footprint". That need is obviated by the MCI acquisition and was key in the long term market position strategy. By January 6, 2006, MCI was incorporated into Verizon with the name Verizon Business. With this merger, Verizon also acquired the naming rights to the Washington, D.C. home of the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals, the Verizon Centermarker (formerly known as the MCI Center).Just prior to the acquisition, MCI had purchased an internet services company, Totality.

Verizon, with MCI, was the largest telecommunications company in the United States based on sales of $75.11 billion, profits of $7.4 billion and assets of $168.13 billion. completion of the BellSouth/AT&T Inc. merger, AT&T Inc. became the largest telecommunications company in the world in terms of assets and profits.

Rank Company Sales Profits Assets Market Value
12 AT&T 118.93 11.95 275.64 210.22
48 Verizon Communications 93.47 5.65 186.96 104.27


Controversies

Verizon has been involved in various public controversies.

On December 22, 2004, mail servers at Verizon.net were configured not to accept connections from Europe, by default, in an attempt to reduce spam email. Individual domains would only be unblocked upon request.

On May 11, 2006, controversy arose when USA Today revealed that Verizon, along with AT&T Inc. and BellSouth, had turned over the call records of millions of U.S. citizens to the National Security Agencymarker. Verizon flatly denied turning over records to the government, but did not comment on whether MCI, which it had acquired in January, had done so. On October 12, 2007 the company admitted in a letter to the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce that it had turned over customer information to the FBImarker and other federal agencies of the U.S. government approximately 94,000 times from January 2005 to September 2007, providing such information 720 times without being presented with a court order or warrant.

In September 2007, Verizon Wireless initially refused to make their mobile phone network available to NARAL Pro-Choice America for a program which allows people to sign up for pro-choice text messages, on the grounds that they had the right to block "controversial or unsavory" messages. They subsequently reversed the decision, saying "It was an incorrect interpretation of a dusty internal policy, that ... was designed to ward against communications such as anonymous hate messaging and adult materials sent to children." and that Verizon has "great respect for this free flow of ideas."

The 2008 sale of landline operations in Northern New England to FairPoint Communications raised questions. The parties had to work with the governments of Mainemarker, New Hampshiremarker and Vermontmarker to ensure the sale went forward.

Environmental record

Verizon has developed an Environmental Health and Safety Policy and Energy Conservation and Recycling programs. Their Energy Conservation program works towards reducing GHG emissions, and its environmental impacts and energy costs. By using Fuel cells, Micro Turbines, and Hypalon roof, Verizon is helping curb energy use. By using paper-free billing, Verizon reduces paper usage. Verizon also collects used wireless phones or equipment to recycle.. The Verizon Business tree-planting program encourages signing up for paper-free billing, and the Verizon Telecom plan that has added 100 energy-efficient hybrid-engine sedans for its fleet of service vehicles. Verizon Wireless' Hopeline Program recycles no longer used cell phones to help victims of domestic violence. The company is reducing the amount of greenhouse-gas emissions by approximately 334,000 metric tons every year through energy conservation and recycling.By using thin client computers, energy consumption has reduced by about 30 percent. Verizon uses NightWatchman, a software that lets managers turn computers on and off remotely. The company is working towards using Sun Ray technology in all of their call centers. This could potentially lead towards $1 million per year in (power) cost savings. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency‎, Verizon is the only telecommunications company that has accurate energy data. They have conducted energy audits over 535 buildings, and have installed load profile meters in 100 location.

Verizon is listed as a sponsor of the Friends of America Rally, an event organized by Massey Energy, apparently to promote mountaintop removal coal mining and to campaign against the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill.

Verizon services

Voice

Verizon provides several different types of land line services - standard POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) service as well as VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and optical fiber line services. In addition, Verizon offers long distance services. Verizon also offers a product that is a joint venture with Microsoft called "Verizon Web Calling", a type of VoIP service used within Windows Live Messenger. See also Iobi.

Voicemail

Verizon provides Verizon Voice Messaging — voicemail service for residences and businesses.

Wireless

For Verizon's wireless division, see Verizon Wireless.

Verizon VoiceWing

Verizon VoiceWing is a Voice over IP (VoIP) service offered by Deltathree and resold by Verizon that offers phone service over a broadband Internet connection. A DSL, cable, or Verizon FiOS Internet connection, a regular telephone, a router, and a telephone adaptor are required for service. On March 31, 2009, Verizon terminated VoiceWing service for all existing subscribers.

Video

Verizon launched its FiOS Video service in Keller, Texasmarker on September 22, 2005. FiOS TV uses an optical fiber network to deliver more than 500 total channels, more than 180 digital video and music channels more than 100 high-definition channels, and 10,000 video-on-demand titles.Verizon also provides DIRECTV service as well.

Data

Verizon provides DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) Internet service in many areas where it offers phone service. See Verizon Online DSL.

Verizon recently began offering FTTP (Fiber to the Premises, or Fiber to the Home) to some subscribers. Verizon calls this "FiOS".

According to the non-profit spam monitoring organization Spamhaus, Verizon has the largest number of known spammers of all networks worldwide (as of August 2, 2007).

Verizon DSL currently requires a computer running Windows to perform a standard installation, but this is only during initial setup of the DSL modem. Manual workarounds are possible with other operating systems as long as a web browser supporting javascript is available.

Directory operations

The Yellow Pages business of Verizon is known as SuperPages, and is a Texas-based sales, publishing and related services with 1,200 directory titles and a circulation of about 121 million copies in 41 states. The web site receives approximately 17 million visitors a month. It had an operating revenue of $3.6 billion in 2004 and employs 7,300 nationwide. In a move to leverage against higher traffic sites, Superpages linked up with Google to provide search advertising services to its millions of listed businesses. SuperPages will offer its advertisers the ability to bid for Google search terms.

With an estimated $17 billion in assets, Verizon has spun-off the business unit to finance its expansion in wireless and high-speed Internet services. Verizon would not be the first Baby Bell to rid itself of its directory publishing operations; Qwest sold off its QwestDex directory services to become Dex Media, and Illinois Bell, now known as AT&T, sold its directory operations to R. H. Donnelley in 1990 ("AT&T Yellow Pages published by R. H. Donnelley").

Sponsorships and naming rights



Corporate governance

Current members of the board of directors of Verizon Communications are Richard Carrión, Robert Lane, Sandra Moose, Joseph Neubauer, Thomas O'Brien, Hugh Price, Ivan Seidenberg, Walter Shipley, Carlos Slim, John R. Stafford, and Robert Storey. The above list on this page is a frequent target of "pranks" by employees at Verizon call centers, so please refer to the official Verizon Corporate Governance site for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

See also



References

  1. " Customer Support Contacts." Verizon Communications. Retrieved on February 18, 2009.
  2. Verizon to sell off Latin units
  3. Verizon, Frontier in $8.6B deal for wirelines
  4. The Global 2000 for 2007
  5. The Global 2000 for 2008
  6. Verizon persists with European email blockade, John Leyden, The Register, January 14, 2005
  7. Public Hearings Sought in Phone Record Scandal, William Fisher, Inter Press Service, May 26, 2006
  8. Verizon Gave Customer Data To Government Without Court Orders
  9. Verizon Reverses Itself on Abortion Rights Messages, Adam Liptak, New York Times, September 27, 2007
  10. Verizon and You Partners in Protecting the Environment, 5/5/2008
  11. Verizon Steps Up Efforts to Conserve Energy and Protect the Envrionment, 5/5/2008
  12. Environmental Leader Verizon Saves $20 Million by Reducing Data Centers, 5/6/2008
  13. Cool companies Feature Story: Verizon Dial E for Energy Savings, 5/5/2008
  14. Friends of America Rally, 8/31/2009


External links




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