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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Verizon competitor AT&T today announced it would begin offering local phone service to consumers in West Virginia, eight years after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 became law. The following statement may be attributed to H. Stan Cavendish, president of Verizon West Virginia.

"AT&T is late to the dance. The truth is that, over the past few years, AT&T has focused on complaining to regulators when it could have been competing for customers.

"Competition has steadily grown in West Virginia. Competing wireline companies are serving customers throughout the state. West Virginians use approximately 580,000 wireless phones in competition with traditional wired phone lines. Cable companies are competing vigorously for high-speed Internet customers. And Internet-based phone companies are gaining customers' business as well.

"Verizon welcomes AT&T to the long line of companies now offering their services in West Virginia. We will continue to compete using customer-friendly calling plans and quality service."