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Verizon Wins $195 Million 911 Contract

By Amanda Fung – Crains New York

Verizon Communications Inc. said Tuesday that it has won a $195 million contract from the city to build a new 911 emergency network system for the police and fire departments.

“The contract is one of the largest contracts we’ve been awarded,” said Alex Coleman, group president for the government and education unit of Verizon Business, the division of the telecommunications giant that won the contract. “It demonstrates that we are providers of advanced technology specifically around emergency and recovery services.”

Verizon Business will build and offer a new fiber-optic system that will help the New York Police Department, Fire Department of New York and the FDNY’s Emergency Medical Services track and manage 911 calls more effectively. Verizon Business, which was awarded a seven-year-contract with an option for a two-year extension, will monitor the network and provide 24-hour tech support.

After a rigorous evaluation by the NYPD, FDNY and the city’s Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, Verizon was selected over telecom providers Intrado and SBC Communications, according to the city.

Verizon, which had already been providing the city with 911 services, expects to finish the new network by the end of the year. It will migrate all emergency calls to the new system in 2008. The fiber-optic network being deployed is different from the fiber that Verizon is installing around the city to provide consumers high-speed Internet services and eventually TV service, said Mr. Coleman.

Last month, Verizon Business reported a first-quarter revenue of $5.2 billion, up 2.3% from a year earlier. It provides telecom and information technology services to large corporations and government agencies.