SCC Alternative Regulation Order a Step in Right Direction

RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) today issued an order modifying and approving Verizon's proposal for alternative regulation in the state. The following response should be attributed to Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia.

"Overall, today's commission order is a step in the right direction toward bringing regulation more up to speed with Virginia's extremely competitive telecommunications market.

"The commission took great strides toward providing regulatory parity between Verizon and its competitors by removing numerous administrative regulatory burdens that have applied to Verizon alone.

"Unfortunately, however, the commission stood virtually still on addressing the issues raised by Verizon's unique requirement to serve every customer in its service area without regard to the economic feasibility of providing that service.

"Verizon proposed a very gradual process to begin chipping away at the requirement - established in a long-gone monopoly era - to provide service in rural areas at prices below their costs. By limiting prices to their 1994 inflation-adjusted levels, the commission's order continues to limit Verizon's ability to address these high-cost areas.

"We'll examine the commission's order thoroughly and decide on our next course of action by Jan. 26."