When it comes to e-business, most telecom companies are more talk than action. Not Verizon Communications (VZ ) Inc. and its CEO, Ivan G. Seidenberg. He's making the investments now to turn the promise of ubiquitous broadband connections into a reality. Over the next 10 to 15 years, he expects Verizon to spend $20 billion to $40 billion to provide superfast Net connections to every home and business in its 29-state territory. At least 10 times faster than today's broadband services, they will be able to carry everything from phone calls to high-definition television. That will support a new generation of digital interactivity.

Imagine a world in which customer service and sales are once again conducted eye-to-eye, but via the Web. "Broadband is the digital economy," Seidenberg says. And he aims to be its master builder.

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