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NEW YORK, May 17, 2006 – In the first of a series of major initiatives that will shatter barriers to fun on the Internet in a unique way, Verizon has teamed with Valve® to create the FiOS Grand Tournament, an online PC game tournament of unprecedented scope. The FiOS Grand Tournament will end with one skillful player winning $100,000 – one of the largest prizes ever for a single winner of a tournament of this kind.

“By providing super-fast broadband connections for both downloading and uploading, Verizon FiOS Internet service creates great home entertainment experiences by shattering the limits we’ve come to accept – limits such as speed and bandwidth that get in the way of fun,” said Brian Angiolet, director of marketing for Verizon FiOS. “What better way to demonstrate that than by creating unprecedented online experiences – like the FiOS Grand Tournament – that rely heavily on broadband connectivity and speed to maximize fun.”

Adds Doug Lombardi, Director of Marketing for Valve: “Verizon FiOS Internet is an ideal solution for Steam customers looking to push the limits of their online gaming experience.”

In coming weeks, Verizon will launch a series of additional initiatives that will enable consumers to experience the Internet without limitations – something only Verizon FiOS can offer. These will include Verizon FiOS experiences in video games, fashion and live events.

The FiOS Grand Tournament will bring together the best in class of the interactive entertainment sector. Valve, creator of best-selling PC game franchises Half-Life and Counter Striketm will provide tournament entrants free access to its new, highly acclaimed Half-Life 2: Deathmatch PC game for the tournament beginning May 17.

Beyond demonstrating the advantages of the speed and enormous download and upload capacity of Verizon FiOS Internet service, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch will showcase the ease of Steam, Valve’s direct platform for digital content delivery.

Verizon offers FiOS high-speed broadband service over its new, advanced fiber optic network in parts of 16 states – a network that brings the power of fiber all the way to the home. With maximum download connections of up to 30 megabits-per-second (Mbps), and upload connections of up to 5 Mbps, FiOS provides gamers with the speed they need to compete. Although users of any Internet service can play in the tournament, finalists will face off live on the Verizon FiOS Internet service, experiencing its breakthrough speed, capacity and fun.

About Verizon FiOS Grand Tournament

Managed by the Cyberathlete Amateur League (CAL), the FiOS Grand Tournament officially starts May 17 when players can begin downloading Half-Life 2: Deathmatch from Valve’s Steam service located at www.steamgames.com. Players will then be able to register at www.fiosgrand.com and begin practicing until June 15.

Tournament play will begin on June 15 and the top 64 players will be ranked according to the CAL’s official ladder ranking system, until only eight players remain. Those eight players will then face-off in a dramatic head-to-head tournament that culminates with one winner fragging their way to the $100,000 prize.

More information about the tournament and its rules will be available online at www.fiosgrand.com.

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation’s premier wireline networks, serving mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

About Valve

Valve is an entertainment software and technology company founded in 1996 and based in Bellevue, Washington. The company's portfolio of entertainment properties includes Half-Life®, Counter-Strike™, Day of Defeat®, and Team Fortress®. Valve’s catalog of products accounts for over 20 million retail units sold worldwide, and over 80% of the PC online action market. In addition, Valve is a developer of leading-edge technologies, such as the SourceTM game engine and Steam, a broadband platform for the delivery and management of digital content. For more information, please visit www.valvesoftware.com.

About Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2 has been named Game of the Year by over 35 publications and sold over 4 million retail units worldwide. Powered by Source™, Half-Life 2 features the most sophisticated in-game characters ever witnessed, advanced AI, stunning graphics and physical gameplay. For more information, please visit www.half-life2.com.

About CPL and CAL

The Cyberathlete Professional League® (CPL) is the most recognized name in professional computer game competitions. Launched in 1997, the CPL is also the world’s first professional video games league. For more information visit www.thecpl.com.

The Cyberathlete Amateur League (CAL) is the CPL's online division, has 400,000 registered members and hosts year-round online tournaments. For more information visit www.caleague.com.

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