Sprint's investments, taxes, contributions reflect dedication to Tennessee

From Staff Reports

   Sprint's local telephone unit expects to invest more than $3.6 million dollars every month this year in the Tri-Cities/Southwest Virginia region on projects to continue providing customers with high-quality voice and data service and to meet the growing demand for new communication technologies.
   This year, the company expects to invest some $44 million across the Tennessee-Virginia region for new and expanded facilities, including about $13.5 million in the Tri-Cities. A significant portion of that investment will be in fiber-optic related projects.
   "Every year, we invest millions of dollars to provide our Tri-Cities region customers with the best new technology and services," said Tom Sokol, Sprint's state executive for Tennessee and Virginia. "Our annual commitment to strengthening and expanding our network and facilities demonstrates our continuing emphasis on customer service and satisfaction."
   This year's budget includes new FastConnect DSL deployments in dozens of sites across Sprint's local service territory. Most Tennessee exchanges will have FastConnect deployed by the end of the third quarter. Customers can access www.sprint.com/local to get additional information about Sprint and use the "High Speed DSL" link and prompts to find out if FastConnect is available to them. Other major network construction projects also are planned across the state.
   Taxes Sprint pays to states, cities and counties help provide important services such as schools and police and fire protection. Sprint paid well over $9.7 million in Tennessee last year in property tax payments alone. The company also collected and passed along some $13 million to Tennessee state and local governments.
   Sprint's direct contributions in Tennessee to educational and community programs and events totaled more than $186,000 in 2002. Sprint Foundation matching gifts boosted that total further.
   The company serves some 432,000 local-service customers in Virginia and 258,000 in Tennessee.
   Sprint is a global communications company serving more than 26 million business and residential customers in over 70 countries. With approximately 72,000 employees worldwide and nearly $27 billion in annual revenues, Sprint is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying state-of-the-art network technologies, including the United States' first nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network and an award-winning Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint provides local voice and data services in 18 states and operates the largest 100 percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the United States.