BACKGROUND -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) today recommended that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approve Verizon's application for permission to offer long-distance service in the state of Rhode Island. DOJ routinely gives the FCC an evaluation of long-distance applications which the Commission considers before it makes a final decision. Verizon filed the Rhode Island application with the FCC Nov. 26. The FCC must rule on the application by Feb. 24. The following response should be attributed to Sarah Deutsch, vice president and associate general counsel for Verizon Communications.
"Obviously, we are very pleased with the Department of Justice's thorough review and recommendation that the FCC approve our long-distance application in Rhode Island. DOJ has recognized that Verizon has succeeded in opening its local markets in Rhode Island to competition, agreeing with a similar recommendation from the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.
"Verizon's entry into the long-distance markets in the other states where we have received approval has been shown to stimulate even greater competition. We are confident that the FCC will agree that the residents of Rhode Island should have the opportunity to reap the significant benefits that come from this all-out competition and will grant approval of our long-distance application. "