PUC Order Appears To Affirm Verizon's Network Modernization Efforts

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission today ruled on a Verizon Pennsylvania petition to amend the network modernization plan (NMP) portion of its Chapter 30 alternative regulatory plan. The company filed the petition in response to the commission's May 2002 order that rejected Verizon Pennsylvania's June 2000 NMP progress report. That report outlined the company's progress in deploying a broadband-capable telecommunications network in its service area. The following statement should be attributed to James V. O'Rourke, president of Verizon Pennsylvania.

"While we need to examine the commission's order closely when it's released, today's action appears to allow Verizon to continue with the Chapter 30 compact we have with the commission, and it hopefully will clear up any current ambiguity about our network investments. And that would be good news for Pennsylvanians.

"Chapter 30 is working at a time when the telecommunications industry is undergoing unprecedented competition and technological change, and we're proud of our record in rolling out broadband services. The Joint Legislative Budget and Finance Committee's findings affirm that Chapter 30 is working and that Verizon is meeting or exceeding its network modernization commitments today, and can be expected to meet future commitments as well.

"We're eager to see the order, and we will closely review its new network modernization targets, new reporting requirements and new auditing and compliance proposals. We hope the order will allow us to put these debates behind us so we can get on with building out our broadband network for Pennsylvanians."