AT&T Late Entrant to Pennsylvania's Vibrantly Competitive Phone Market

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Verizon competitor AT&T today announced it would begin offering local phone service to consumers in parts of Pennsylvania, its third such announcement in the past five years. The following statement may be attributed to Harry Mitchell, Verizon director-media relations.

"AT&T should be getting pretty good at saying it's going to compete for consumers' local phone service in Pennsylvania. It has had plenty of practice, with two previous announcements that it was entering the local market here. The truth is that AT&T has spent far more time complaining to regulators and legislators than it has competing for customers.

"While AT&T played its regulatory games, however, competition has exploded in Pennsylvania. Landline competitors serve more than 20 percent of the lines in Verizon's service area; add wireless phones and more than half the communications lines in Verizon's territory are served by competitors. And cable companies are competing vigorously for high-speed Internet and phone customers.

"Verizon welcomes the opportunity to compete with AT&T as we do with the dozens of companies now offering local phone service in Pennsylvania - with our compelling calling plans and quality service, not constant whining to regulators and legislators."