NEWARK, N.J., May 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Verizon customers in Closter and Wyckoff now can experience breathtaking high-speed Internet access as the company begins to offer its Verizon FiOS(SM) (FYE'-ose) Internet Service to homes here. The two Bergen County communities are the first where Verizon's premier consumer broadband services are available in the state. The company is offering three tiers of service with downstream (download) speeds of up to 5, 15 and 30 Mbps (megabits per second).* Verizon is already delivering FiOS services over its new fiber-to-the- premises (FTTP) networks in half the states where it offers landline communications service. The company has identified 55 communities in New Jersey where it is rolling out its all-fiber network. The company will announce FiOS Internet Service in other areas as it becomes available. FTTP technology utilizes fiber-optic connections - instead of copper wire - directly into homes to enable a broad array of voice, data and video applications. In addition to its current FiOS Internet access service, Verizon plans to launch FiOS TV in 2005 to compete directly with cable TV providers. FiOS TV will be available in markets where Verizon has negotiated cable franchise agreements with local authorities. "FiOS is setting the new standard for consumer broadband services in America," said Bob Ingalls, president of Verizon's Retail Markets Group. "Our customers who already subscribe to FiOS services are astounded at what they now can do with their online experience. Video chats and conferencing, purchased digital movie downloads and interactive multi-player games have become a part of their daily lives." Customer reaction to Verizon's new fiber-based Internet access service has been very positive, with broadband subscribers already more than doubling in the company's inaugural FiOS market of Keller, Texas, just outside Dallas/Fort Worth. Ingalls added that Verizon is using the most advanced technology to deliver downstream and upstream speeds that will give customers truly interactive, two-way broadband capabilities. "The Internet is an increasingly interactive place where quickly sending information is just as important as quickly receiving it," Ingalls said. "From uploading multi-megabyte e-mails with photo attachments, to interacting with the office from home, FiOS gives customers unprecedented speed, efficiency and productivity at very competitive prices." Each FiOS service is available either as part of a bundle of local and long-distance calling services from Verizon, or as a stand-alone Internet access service. There are three tiers of Verizon FiOS Internet Service for consumers: * 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. "In addition to an outstanding array of high-speed access options, we will provide our customers with a first-class installation experience, in which a Verizon technician visits the home, sets up the connection and configures the service," said Ingalls. Each consumer data offer includes the suite of services currently available to Verizon Online DSL customers at no additional charge, including: MSN Premium content; Verizon's new Broadband Beat entertainment portal optimized for high-speed access featuring news, games, streaming video and more; up to nine e-mail accounts with 30 megabytes (MB) of storage for the primary account and an additional 10 MB for each sub-account; address book and calendar; 10 MB personal Web space and a Web-site building tool; and access to newsgroups. While FiOS services are not immediately available to all customers in all locations, the services now are available to many Verizon customers with a 201 area code whose phone numbers have the following prefixes: 750, 767, 768, 784, 269, 560, 847, 848 and 891. Customers who want to determine whether they can order FiOS Internet service can call 888-GET FIOS (888-438-3467) or visit Verizon's FiOS Web site at http://www.verizon.net/fios. * 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 more than 212,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 28 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 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 http://www.verizon.com. VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts, high quality video and images, and other information are available at Verizon's News Center on the World Wide Web at http://www.verizon.com/news. To receive news releases by e-mail, visit the News Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.