Verizon Wireless opens most northeastern store

15 years ago
By Kathy McCarty  
Staff Writer

    PRESQUE ISLE — Verizon Wireless held a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 16, at 765 Main St., the company’s newest communications store in Maine.
     Verizon staff were on hand to demonstrate the latest in wireless devices, hands-free headsets and accessories, as well as answer questions about the new facility and the company’s $2.4 billion investment into its New England network.
    In May, the company announced the addition of 76 new 3G cell sites across 12 Maine counties. In addition, the company upgraded equipment at already-existing 3G cell sites throughout eight of those counties — effectively doubling network coverage in those areas, stated a release on the company’s Web site.
    The release noted the investments “significantly expand Verizon Wireless’s voice and 3G  high-speed wireless broadband network leadership in the Pine Tree State.”
    Over 100 new 3G cell sites have been activated in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts as part of Verizon Wireless’s ongoing integration of the legacy Unicel wireless network.
    In addition to the new sites, upgrades were also made to existing locations as well.
    The company’s investment goes beyond corporate purposes, as witnessed by the presentation of a check to the Battered Women’s Project during the recent ceremony.
    “We’re really excited to be in Presque Isle,” said Peter Hyszczak, Verizon Wireless district manager. “As a neighborly initiative, we have a helpline program. Anyone can donate a used cell phone that is then recycled and used for domestic violence programs. Today we are presenting a $1,500 grant to the Battered Women’s Project.”
    Francine Stark, the new director of the Battered Women’s Project, was on hand for the presentation.
    “These kinds of partnerships — and our work — are critical. This is a community problem. We have branches in Houlton, Presque Isle, Caribou and Madawaska,” said Stark, noting people everywhere are affected by domestic abuse and violence and donated phones are valuable tools in getting victims help when it’s needed most.
    “We work with community partners, holding abusers accountable and the community responsible,” she said.
    Several city officials were on hand for the event.
    “On behalf of City Councilors Calvin Hall and Ron McPherson, we’re pleased to have Verizon here in the city — pleased you chose Presque Isle. We wish you the best of luck in your corporate endeavors,” said City Manager Tom Stevens.
    Nola Farley, on behalf of the Presque Isle Area Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Verizon to the community, adding she hoped the business would become a member of the Chamber.
    Hyszczak also presented Mary Williamson, store manager, with a plaque recognizing the facility’s unique location.
    “I present Mary with the designation of having the easternmost Verizon Wireless Communications store in the U.S.,” said Hyszczak.
    Verizon’s new interactive store provides customers with the opportunity to demo devices and learn the ins and outs of products on display prior to purchase. Known for its high-speed network, Verizon is reportedly the only company to make such a large communication investment.
    In Maine, Verizon Wireless’s integration of the legacy Unicel network enhanced the following areas, 19 new 3G sites serving portions of Aroostook, including: Benedicta, Caribou, Fort Kent, Hodgdon, Houlton, Island Falls, Ludlow, Madawaska, Mapleton, Mars Hill, Masardis, Orient, Portage Lake, Presque Isle, Stockholm and Wallagrass.
    Business hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bill payments are accepted at this location and a small-business specialist is available. For more information, contact 764-1664 or visit www.verizonwireless.com.